New Jersey Has A Hot New Gun Grabbing Scheme Or Something
With all the other gun grabbing news coming out, I never got around to NJ governor Phil Murphy’s hot new gun grabbing scheme, but, it’s really excited the Star Ledger editorial board
When it comes to our own gun laws, New Jersey is already pushing the envelope. We’re among the strictest states in the nation.
It’s not for nothing: States like ours, with tough laws, have fewer deaths. But it’s not enough, either. It’s a relatively marginal impact, given the loose rules in other states.
In the absence of federal action, Gov. Murphy and his gun czar, Bill Castner, have an innovative idea: Why not use our buying power, and try to build a coalition of states to pressure retailers, manufacturers and even banks for common sense reform?
Taxpayers are the biggest buyers of guns and accessories in New Jersey, to arm cops and troopers – we spent $70 million in recent years. Now, we will leverage that purchasing power, with an eye toward incentivizing retailers to behave responsibly, and invite other states to join us.
Perhaps the gun manufacturers and other legal dealers will just refuse to sell to the state of NJ, along with the counties and municipalities, using their selling power. Especially when it comes to ammo. Because this scheme pretty much only effects the law abiding, not the criminals.
Murphy’s plan starts with this fact: Most guns used in New Jersey crimes come from laxer states, like Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Georgia or Virginia. Traffickers buy from unscrupulous dealers who sell them a cache of guns on the spot, and look the other way when they use straw purchasers with clean records, like the girlfriend of a felon.
Almost no federally authorized firearms dealer will do the above, as they face massive fines and jail time. The vast majority of federally licensed firearms dealers are a hell of a lot more scrupulous than politicians like Murphy.
They should use electronic records and surveillance video to record all sales, train employees to identify obvious straw purchasers and search all available state court and criminal databases – things most retailers here already do.
In New Jersey, if you’re on the terrorism watch list, you can’t buy a gun. But we’re one of the only states that checks this. We want to make sure vendors aren’t selling to domestic violence abusers, either, because their background checks miss certain crimes. It’s like cracking down on bars that sell to minors.
That’s why they run a federal background check. It’s not their fault of law enforcement and the judicial system do not report properly. If you’re on the terrorism watch list, you’re more than likely not a U.S. citizen, so you can’t purchase legally anyway.
Now for a really hot take
Right now, this is a statement about our values. Where it really catches fire is if other states join forces with us. Imagine if, all together, we declared: There are more gun retailers than gas stations in America. Want to do business with us? Then do the right thing.
There are about 168,000 gas stations in the U.S. There are about 58,000 federal permits to sell firearms. But, not all have an actual store or are a full dealer. I can think of 2 firearms stores in Raleigh. I can think of a mass of gas stations within 5 miles of where I live and where I work.
Again, though, for the most part, this means nothing to the criminals.
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