Monday, January 31, 2011

January Prize Winner!

Congratulations to Edwintrz! You are the winner of the January NRA Membership Giveaway! Keep an eye out on your email box for instructions on claiming your prize!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Assemblyman Michael Carroll weighs in

I was checking out Assemblyman Michael Carroll's blog this afternoon and was reading his latest post about the New Jersey Attorney General's response to the SAF / ANJRPC Concealed Carry lawsuit. Here is an excerpt that shows why I really like this lawmaker:

When it comes to respecting liberty, New Jersey ranks at the bottom of the fifty states. Perhaps nowhere does this contempt for basic freedom manifest itself more clearly than in the State’s draconian restrictions on Second Amendment rights. Virtually alone among the states, New Jersey refuses to permit any but a small, select, privileged few to defend themselves against armed aggression. Hardly a legislative session passes without some new, usually hair-brained proposal to further restrict freedom. And, alas, not a few of them actually pass.

Brady Center enters the New Jersey Concealed Carry Fray

Late yesterday, the Brady Center filed a brief in federal court in New Jersey urging the court to dismiss the SAF / ANJRPC lawsuit.

Read the the press release.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Jersey Attorney General responds to Right to Carry Lawsuit

Excerpt:

New Jersey’s carefully conceived and long-standing regulatory scheme is rooted in an appreciation that a permit to carry may not afford any measure of self-protection to a particular applicant and would instead increase the risk of the applicant being involved in "the known and serious dangers of misuse and accidental use.” When a handgun is carried in public, the serious risks and dangers of misuse and accidental use are borne by the public.

New Jersey has not merely a significant interest but a compelling interest in combating handgun violence and combating the dangers and risks associated with the accidental and misuse of handguns, which are inherent in carrying a handgun. It also has a compelling interest in reducing the use of handguns in crimes. A government’s foremost function is to ensure the safety of all of its citizenry. When handguns are permitted to be carried beyond one’s home, the dangers and risks necessarily increase and are borne by the public.

Generally speaking, one cannot know whether crime against an individual will occur at all, much less know when, where, or how. Neither then can one know whether a handgun would provide an effective measure of self-defense and be safe to use as to other victims or bystanders. Further, the "need” for a handgun for self-defense outside of the home does not stand alone. The carrying of a handgun inherently comes with the dangers and risks of its misuse or accidental use. These dangers and risks are borne by everyone with whom the person encounters. 

When you stop laughing, you can read the whole text at the ANJRPC website.

A couple of notes from me:

  • New Jersey's gun laws are anything but carefully conceived - they are a hodge-podge of local regulations that have no cohesion whatsoever.
  • The argument that a permit to carry may not afford any measure of self-protection is ludicrous - of COURSE it affords a measure of self-protection - certainly a level above bare fists and rocks.
  • The third paragraph is a rather long winded attempt to say that guns are much more dangerous once they leave the home. Apparently the magical force field that keeps my loaded handgun that I keep in my holster or next to my bed from discharging disappears at the threshold of my front door.
  • Finally, I would like to take some poetic license with the sentence 'The carrying of a handgun inherently comes with the dangers and risks of its misuse or accidental use' and change it to 'The carrying of a handgun exponentially increases the danger and risks to an assailant who attempts to perpetrate crime on an innocent citizen who has a CCW.'

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sens. Lautenberg, Menendez introduce federal gun-control bills

And they're off!

The story is a travesty of reporting by the way. The story starts with the promise of:

Three federal gun-control bills introduced Tuesday would help prevent such violence as the Tucson attack that left six dead and 14 injured, according to the New Jersey Democratic senators sponsoring the package.

Then we are made to think that the local NRA representative, Brian Swarz and the president of the ANJRPC, Scott L. Bach, are dodging their calls and emails.

Lautenberg has tried and failed twice before to get gun-show restricting legislation passed and now is leveraging the Tuscon tragedy to attempt to advance his agenda.

The comments on the story at NJ.com are interesting - many asking why our Senators are not focused on jobs and other immediate and threatening issues.

Op ed: Legislation won't stop criminals from buying guns

Joseph Ramieri of Denville, NJ is a bright, intelligent and articulate man. I enjoyed his concise explanation of why restrictive gun laws will not work in the Daily Record today.

Although I am left leaning, the plain truth is that legislation only affects those who abide by the law and not criminals, by definition. When purchasing a pistol in New Jersey, I am subjected to an extensive background check. If I was a criminal or had a violent past, would I subject myself to this? Obviously not. I would purchase one illegally, which can be easily done in any inner city. One need not go to Virginia.

Amen Mr Ramieri.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The state of the union

President Obama will be giving his State of the Union address tonight at 9:00 p.m. (eastern). In advance of the address, MAIG has taken out a full page ad in the Washington Post (thanks to Sebastion at Snowflakes in hell). All y'all should be watching to see what Mr. Obama has to say, if anything, about gun control.

*** UPDATE ***

Well, not a single word about gun control. Color me pleased.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How about CCW's and training?

Al Sharpton spoke at a rally, called a 'Family Town Meeting', to discuss ways of confronting violence in Newark. Sharpton wisely spoke these words,

"The police are not going to save them, the FBI are not going to save them. We have to save them ourselves. They are our children."

I agree! I like the fact that Sharpton is talking about confronting violence. However the things they spoke about were passive; mentoring programs, role modeling, resources for grassroots organizations, etc. While these things may be good, they are the same old message with the same old results.

Let's permit these law abiding citizens to defend themselves and take their neighborhoods back from the thugs. Drug dealers, gang-bangers and petty thugs are not prepared to confront a trained and armed citizen, much less a community of them. They will move along when the easy prey are no longer available.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Project 'GunWalker' entering a new phase

This is not ONLY a New Jersey issue - but I feel strongly enough about this to post on NJFI:

I have been following David Codrea of the Examiner.com, and in particular his story about how the United States government via BATFE have been moving guns into Mexico ... without the Mexican government's knowledge. David has named his artciles 'Project GunWalker'.

In brief, ATF agents are wiling to come forward and provide testimony and documentation about guns being illegally sent to Mexico with management cognizance. They will have the opportunity to fully validate the reliability of this information for themselves. Contact your representatives and tell them they can contact David for details dcodreaAThotmailDOTcom. Tell them that they were contacted for help will be a matter of public record.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Travellers beware!

Flashback 2005, Utah resident Gregg Revell is stranded at Newark Airport thru no fault of his own. The following day as he prepared to complete his travels, he declares his legally owned firearm as per Federal law and is promptly arrested.

Fast forward to 2011- the United States Supreme Court declines to hear the appeal filed by Mr. Revell. This undermines the Federal Traveler Protection Law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware - however the ANJRPC portion of the case is unaffected.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lakewood, NJ Police officer is killed

Lakewood police officer Chris Matlosz was shot and killed yesterday afternoon during a routine patrol stop. Our prayers are with the Lakewood Police department, Officer Matlosz' family and loved ones.

The shooter, identified as Jashmell Crockham, is still at large. 


UPDATE (01.16.2011)

Officer Matlosz' alleged killer is caught.

Friday, January 14, 2011

C'mon Christie - you know it's the right thing ...

I have to admit, each time I read something Gov. Chris Christie says I become more of a fan. This time, the folks at NJ.com asked the Governor his opinion on concealed carry for New Jersey. Now, you might think I would want him to stand up and shout, 'of course I would sign legislation for concealed carry!' - but wait. Here is what he said:

"I'm like a human starting gun as governor," Christie continued. "The minute I say anything about anything, we're off the races. I'm not going off to the races on an issue that has no chance of going anywhere.

Personally I think Gov. Christie would sign the legislation if it made it to his desk but I also think it would be a distraction and possibly a hindrance if he came out for the legislation. The fight is in the legislature. There are already two bills stuck in committee - A1384 / S69 and S2264, and it's up to us to get them out of committee and on the floor.

So - read the bills, call YOUR legislators, call the sponsors of the bills, call the committee Chairperson. If you want concealed carry in NJ, you're going to have to fight for it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NJ Assemblyman asks Chairman Johnson to get constitutional ...

I thought I would share this email with you all. Assemblyman Michael Carroll (LD 25 NJ) sent the following letter to Chairman Johnson regarding concealed carry legislation that is in committee:

Hon. Gordon M. Johnson 
545 Cedar Lane
Teaneck, New Jersey
07666
 
Re:  A-1384, inter alia
 
Dear Chairman Johnson:
 
Previously, I wrote to The Chairman about the desirability of a comprehensive review of New Jersey firearms statutes.  I further understand that many folks in the pro-freedom community have reached out to The Chairman, urging the same course of action. I write again in the hopes that we, as a Legislature, can get right with the Constitution before the Federal Courts compel us to do so.  
 
As The Chairman knows, in the Heller case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that individuals possess a constitutional right to possess and carry firearms, for (among other reasons) defense of themselves, of others, and of the State.  In McDonald, the Court made it clear – to the extent any dispute existed – that this constitutional provision applies to state governments as well. 
 
For many years, New Jersey stood, a lonely outlier, denying its citizens the basic freedoms enjoyed virtually everywhere else in the nation.  Back then, the State at least enjoyed the presumption that its actions were not of constitutional magnitude. It enjoys that polite fiction no more. Now, New Jersey stands revealed – to the extent any dispute ever existed – as being among the very few states denying its people one of their fundamental constitutional rights.
 
Obviously, we, as legislators, sworn to uphold the Constitution, should be personally offended when our laws so egregiously violate one of its fundamental provisions.  When – perhaps through misplaced passion – we act in a manner which denies our fellow citizens their basic constitutional rights, we should correct that mistake with all deliberate speed. 
 
In many cases decided since Heller, state-imposed restrictions upon basic freedoms have been tested, but nowhere are the restrictions more draconian than here in New Jersey (save, perhaps, Maryland).  That looks as if it’s about to change.  A lawsuit has been filed against New Jersey challenging its virtually absolute prohibition on the Second Amendment right to “bear arms” for personal self defense.  Although it is always a capital mistake to predict the course of litigation, if the Federal District Court faithfully applies Heller and McDonald, New Jersey’s outright ban on carrying firearms for self defense will meet an expeditious, and well-deserved, end.
 
Since this law was always poor policy – that the people of New Jersey are somehow untrustworthy, and certainly less trustworthy than the residents of 45-some-odd other states, was always, at best, a profoundly nonsensical proposition – its imminent demise represents grounds for rejoicing. But it will also necessitate legislative action, sooner rather than later.
 
Faced with the seemingly inevitable invalidation of our clearly unconstitutional law, the Legislature faces a choice: obey the Constitution voluntarily or have a federal court compel us to do so.  In the latter case, this will not be an inexpensive proposition; when a court determines that a state law violates basic constitutional rights, it possesses the authority – almost the obligation – to award counsel fees to the prevailing party.  At a time when every last penny of taxpayer resources is precious (to the extent that there is ever a time at which they are not), paying many hundreds of thousands of dollars (to err on the side of a very conservative number) in legal fees to defend the indefensible strikes me as a profoundly  misguided.
 
Put simply, time is not on the side of those who oppose recognition of our citizens’ constitutional rights.  Every minute we delay, keeping unconstitutional statutes upon our books, the  meter keeps ticking, running up legal fees the taxpayers will be compelled to bear.  While the Administration may labor under an obligation to defend the Legislature’s handiwork – however foolish – we do not labor under an obligation to persist in our error.  While, likely, not a few of our colleagues will object to complying with the Constitution, we will either do it ourselves or be forced to ignominiously admit that, even though we knew what the Constitution required, we refused to comply.  That those sworn to uphold the Constitution would revel in opposing its mandates, and passionately defend denying its basic protections to New Jersey citizens, is truly disturbing
 
I respectfully request, then, that The Chairman promptly schedule the above for a hearing, such that New Jersey can begin the process of complying with basic constitutional commands.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Michael Patrick Carroll

A meaningless gesture ....

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said he would "introduce the measure to re-establish a prohibition that lapsed in 2004 on clips that feed more than 10 rounds at a time", a NJ.com article reported.

Well, if we check our history, we will find that the AWB did not ban high capacity magazines, it banned the production sale of high capacity magazine to the general public. This legislation is a smoke screen - it is a meaningless gesture. It will not remove a single magazine from the marketplace, so called high capacity or not.

One other issue that many will think is nit picking. The constant reference to the term 'clip' indicates that the Senator (and many anti-gun, anti-freedom folks) have not done their homework and do not understand what they are talking about. The part of the handgun that holds bullets in an auto-reloading gun is called a magazine. Clips, or more correctly, stripper clips, are used to hold bullets for certain rifles - for example a Mosin-Nagant.

Ignorant, emotional politicians are NOT the ones who should be making these decisions.

NJ Congressman Chris Smith refuses to pack heat

New Jersey Republican Chris Smith has stated in an interview that despite the Tuscon tragedy, he refuses to 'Pack Heat'. It's interesting to note that Congressman Smith believes he actually has the ability to get a concealed carry permit in New Jersey which is almost exclusively reserved for ex-police.

Perhaps he knows someone and could show that he meets the requirements of needing to carry a gun on his person. I know of several people who have shown a need and been denied.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shooting - Jersey Winter Style

Michael on the Stag
Saturday morning, I knocked on Micheal's door at around 8:00 a.m. and quietly mumbled, 'the range is open but it's snowing. Do you still want to go shooting?' I had hoped he would moan something unintelligible and roll over back into warm oblivion. Nope ... Michael jumped out of bed and said, 'let's go'.

Mark on the Saiga
 Two hours later, because we have to drive long distances to shoot in New Jersey, we arrived at Fort Dix. The last mile onto the range was an adventure in our Prius. Thankfully she has a very low center of gravity because the roads had not been treated or plowed.



100 yards thru spotter
We were the ONLY ones there - it was awesome to have the whole range to ourselves. We called our own 'cease fires' and 'resume firings' and had a great time. I highly recommend snow range time if you can arrange it.

The muted silence of the range was broken only by our gun fire and it seemed to echo forever - it was wonderful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can't see the forest for the trees....

I posted early earlier about the 15%, no wait, it's 14% now, increase in homicides in New Jersey and it's still news. New Jersey lawmakers Sen. John Girgenti (D-Passaic) and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) had a joint press release and said that police layoffs and a stagnant economy could lead to a continued increase in crime. There is a lot of talk about what has caused the increase but not much discussion on a solution.

Assemblyman Johnson is looking for a 'coordinated crackdown'. Where is he going to get the manpower from? He already stated one of the problems is the police layoffs. Not once in the article is there a mention of allowing citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones by allowing them to concealed carry (unless you are counting the comments).

Let's get S69 and A1384 out of committee and on the floor.

January Giveaway!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Congress is back in session ...

I send a lot of emails to my representatives at the local, state and federal level on a monthly basis. Normally it takes anywhere from one to four weeks to receive an automated response. Yesterday I received three replies to emails I had sent two months ago. I guess the new aides are getting up to speed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The newest addition to our family

As we continue to exercise our Second Amendment rights here in New Jersey, we picked this up at the Valley Forge Gun Show over the holiday. She's a beautiful Stag Arms post-ban Model 1 AR-15. I'm getting 15 round magazines soon so the other AR's won't make fun of her.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Sign the petition!

Change.org is hosting the petition asking the Governor of NJ, the state Senate and the state House to support S69. Please go HERE to review and sign the petition.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Jersey homicide rate jumps in 2010

NJ.com is reporting that the homicide rate for New Jersey jumped by 15% 14% last year (2010). The article states that gang slayings account for most of the increase. It is worth noting that the increase occurred in a year in which MORE restrictive gun laws were enacted (e.g. one gun a month).

So while more and more criminals are killing each other and innocents who are in the wrong place at the wrong time, law abiding residents of New Jersey are expected to hunker down, call the police if they can, and hope that understaffed police departments can arrive in time to save them.

I have a better idea - let's support the Second Amendment Foundation and the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs law suit to overturn the unconstitutional handgun carry laws in New Jersey.

-- UPDATE --

The news article at NJ.com has changed the percentage to 14% - not sure why.