Monday, December 6, 2010

Freedom inches forward

My good friend Cemetery posts at NJ Gun Forums that Fred “One Gun a Month” Madden is seeking redemption.

The intent of S2190 is to  “streamline, without weakening, the regulatory oversight of handgun sales and transfers in New Jersey.” It sets up a Handgun Purchase Card system, which card “shall be available to persons of good character and good repute in the community in which they live and who are not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:58-3; nominally good for 2 years (see below) and only allowing purchase from an FFL. (Private sale would still require a Pistol Purchase Permit).

A couple of interesting notes: first, the 5-year term is flexible. The superindendent sets the expiration date, between 2 and 6 years, with the fee prorated if it isn't a 60-month term.

To facilitate a balance in the administrative processing and issuing of handgun purchaser identification cards, the superintendent may issue an initial handgun purchaser identification card which expires on a date fixed by him, provided that the card shall not expire on a date less than two years or more than six years from the date of issuance. The fee for an initial card having an expiration date of other than 60 months shall be fixed proportionally by the superintendent.

It also does not repeal OGaM for HPP holders. The exclusion in the "new" section says that "except for OGaM" there no limitations on the number of firearms purchased

Except as otherwise prescribed in subsection i. of N.J.S.2C:58-3, there shall be no limit on the number of handguns a handgun purchaser identification cardholder may purchase from a retail dealer licensed pursuant to N.J.S.2C:58-2.

The limitations referred to are (underlining indicates an addition to the existing law):

Only one handgun shall be purchased or delivered on each permit and no more than one handgun shall be purchased within any 30- day period, regardless of whether that firearm is purchased or delivered to the holder of a permit to purchase a handgun or a handgun purchaser identification card

The law would almost certainly require the HPP to be laminated by the issuing authority, due to the requirement that the card be highly tamper-resistant (a sore spot with NJ firearms owners is that the Firearms Purchasers ID is not provided laminated and it not the same size as a credit card/driver’s license). OTOH, the photgraphy is to be done "at a time and place" of the superindendent's discretion.

Looks like it's a half-step down the road of eliminating purchase permits, which are fairly clearly unconstitutional, with a 5-year ID card which may or may not be ruled unconstitutional when the case hits SCOTUS. It is a loosening of the process, nothing more, but nothing less, either.

Who benefits if it passes in substantially similar form? FFLs who sell handguns. Handgun purchasers who live in a town with an anti-gun CLEO. Rep Madden (iffy). Gov Christie if he signs. The NJSP from a paperwork angle. The state from a financial angle.

Who loses: anyone who wants no permits after a SCOTUS challenge IFF the SCOTUS rules on one but not the other. They might decide that NICS at Point of Sale is enough and anything more is an infringement; but more likely they'll move incrementally.
Overall, long-term neutral, short-term positive. In the political game- extremely positive - this is a rearguard action by the enemies of freedom. Which means it’s time to advance rapidly with due caution…

4 comments:

  1. It's telling that something this ridiculous is actually a step forward in this state. But it _is_ a step forward. If the CCW cases go the way they should, we'll be getting near a point where a New Jerseyan can put in a lot of time, effort, and money, and end up living almost like a normal American with regard to guns.

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  2. I actually was happy with the FID when I bought my rifle. It meant the background check took less time than filling out the 4473 did. Waiting for it, twice, not so much.

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  3. Still need a "legal except" instead of an "illegal except" regime for freedom.

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  4. No argument here. But in practical terms, the CCW cases plus an erosion of the pistol permit system would make a huge difference in the everyday life of the New Jersey gun owner.

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Please keep it civil