Monday, September 27, 2010

Profiting from the Second Amendment

I think one of our state Senators is missing the point here”

A lawmaker wants to make it easier for New Jersey residents to carry handguns, and he thinks the state can make some money in the process.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) introduced a bill last week that would allow residents to carry handguns if they go through a background check, complete courses in firearms safety and the lawful use of force, pass a test and pay an annual $500 fee.

Van Drew said the $500 annual fee — up from $20 every two years — would mean "tens of millions" of dollars in new state revenue. To reach the $10 million mark, 20,000 people would have to shell out the $500.

Some $400 of that fee would end up in the state’s General Fund. I know the state is broke, but wow. 4/5 of that is a straight-up tax, with the rest going to cover “admin costs”

This bill revises the law governing the issuing of permits to carry handguns in the State of New Jersey.
Under the provisions of this bill, an applicant for a permit to carry would no longer have to establish the court standard “justifiable need,” but rather simply show that they are “qualified” to carry. An applicant is deemed qualified under the bill if: (1) a criminal history record background check reveals no disqualifying information; (2) the applicant successfully completes a course of instruction in the safe use, maintenance and storage of firearms which is approved by the Police Training Commission; (3) the applicant demonstrates proficiency in the use of, and qualifies with, a firearm of the type to be carried; and (4) the applicant successfully completes a course in the lawful use of force and the justifiable use of a firearm which is approved by the superintendent. The bill specifies that the applicant is responsible for all the costs involved in meeting these requirements and qualifications.
An applicant for a permit renewal must meet the same requirements and qualifications, with one exception. Applicants for renewal must undergo psychological testing on a biennial rather than annual basis.
The annual fee for the permit is $500. The permit fees are to be allocated as follows: $50 to the law enforcement agency that processes the application; $50 to the county clerk of the county that issues the permit; and $400 to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund.

OK – NJ state law as applied now is just about as blatantly unconstitutional as the laws being challenged in NY and MD by SAF. So, on the plus side, this would change NJ to a “shall-issue” state. On the minus side; explicitly profiting from a permit to exercise a right is really pretty petty. This is the kind of fence-straddling that gets you impaled. Bryan Miller is already bringing the PSH:

"Senator Van Drew, for whatever reason, is kowtowing to the pro-gun forces of darkness who want to turn this country into an armed society," said Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ. "It’s very simple: Do we want to be standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone in a church or anywhere else not knowing whether that person is legally carrying a handgun?"

My answer to Byran Miller is, quite simply, “Yes”. I already don’t know if someone is illegally carrying; may as well have that uncertainty about the law-abiding folks

Scott Bach counters with:

"The $500 fee is outrageous. The proficiency requirements are excessive," said Scott Bach, president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. "The idea that a hefty price tag should be attached to a constitutional right is outrageous."

I realize that this is the pay-to-play state, but I haven’t seen quite so brazen a shakedown of the general public in NJ, at least not so baldly stated.

Also, now not only am I profiting from the triangle of death, but I’m a force of darkness. Wonder what the fringe benefits of that are?


(Found first via NJGunForums)


  1. OK – NJ state law as applied now is just about as blatantly unconstitutional as the laws being challenged in NY and MD by SAF.

    Which is why I'm in favor of this one, personally. The proposed fee is completely unacceptable in the long run, but I'll take it in the short term in exchange for the New Jersey legislature implicitly saying there's no problem with qualified citizens carrying.

    We'll haggle over price later--haggling that will probably be easier when the state's gun hypocrisy and moneygrubbing are on full display. Right now, I think we should support this as a first step. Our enemies have used incrementalism to chip away at our rights; we have to use incrementalism to chip away at their restrictions.

  2. I am actually against the law as proposed, because of the active suits against MD and westchester county. When SAF wins, "self-defense" will become a valid reason for issuance, and judges' whims will be irrelevant. NJ carry law is ok if we can get may-issue flipped to shall-issue via the judiciary. In this particular case, because of the strong firewall against legal carry represented by the NJ judiciary, there's little to no backup harassment in law. Force shall-issue with no other changes, and the status-quo will be, "carry anywhere but school grounds".
    At this point we should not accept anything less than deletion of the "show just cause" requirement for a carry permit.

  3. I agree that the best case would be NJ just flipping "may" to "shall", but I don't know how realistic that is. In response to direct SCOTUS intervention, DC and Chicago didn't simply drop their bans; they drafted ponderous, draconian laws.

    I fully expect we'll need to get the Court involved to get carry in NJ. In that event, I'd rather be fighting a baldly discriminatory policy of burdensome taxes on an enumerated right than an oppressive but consistently-enforced ban.

    (wv: "cluckbox". I don't even wanna know what that is.)

  4. ASAF is asking for the switch to be flipped in these suits, though. Both suits ask for injunction of the "show good cause" language. There's not much maneuvering room.

    Also, I am surprised at you, a cluckbox is clearly a box fully of chicken bits from such fine establishments as cluck u, chicken and rib crib, etc.

  5. Hm. That changes things. Assuming you're right, I'm with you; it would be ideal for no compromise laws to be passed in New Jersey.

    And I -- ... I admit it. I've never been to a Cluck-U. I'm a bad New Jerseyan.

  6. I'd say that this would continue to make it out of reach for the "average" person. $500pp? Per year? Ouch! Stupid NJ. Trust our Dems to come up with a variant that creates a ton of overhead, too.

    And my answer to Bryan Miller is also "yes" - as long as I have the same option.

  7. That's $500 for the piece of paper. You still have to pay for the fingerprinting, psych evals, and qualification tests. Could be as much as a grand when you're said and done.


Please keep it civil