January 3, 2023

It’s 2023, and two of America’s deep-blue governors are still having conniptions over the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. Bruen that threw out the need for a justifiable reason to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). While bound to follow the Bruen decision, both are doing everything they can to sidestep the ruling through legislative and executive fiat.

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New Jersey, New York, and California are America’s triumvirate of extremely gun unfriendly states.  They are led by Democrat governors and legislatures that march to a progressive drumbeat, promote economic and social policies onerous to businesses large and small, and force their overtaxed, working residents to subsidize sanctuary policies that have turned their states into strongholds for illegal immigrants and vagrants.

All three governors have retained their emergency powers into the post-pandemic era, reviving them as needed to invoke programs and policies that regulate many aspects of their constituents’ lives.  Above all, they harbor an intense hatred for a citizenry under arms, in keeping with their dim view of the Founding Fathers who understood in framing the Second Amendment that to “disarm the people was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

One month after the Bruen decision, New York acting Governor Kathy Hochul thumbed her nose at the Court by signing a gun law that designated when and where you could carry a concealed weapon.  The new rules created a list of “sensitive locations,” prohibiting weapons at government facilities, parks, churches, schools, public transportation, and entertainment venues.  Intruding on private property rights, Hochul banned weapons in all establishments serving alcohol and ordered that commercial businesses of all shapes and sizes must post signage in plain view giving explicit approval to carry weapons on the premises, going so far as to provide a downloadable sign for posting on a government website.  Absence of a storefront notice would be taken as a presumptive gun prohibition lacking the proprietor’s express consent.  In the stroke of a pen, all of New York City had become a gun-free zone, as well as anywhere else in the Empire State where constituents go about their social and professional lives.  Legal challenges immediately followed, as the law is patently unconstitutional in its scope and severity, but a federal judge refused an injunctive stay pending an appeal.

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New Jersey governor Phil Murphy is a garden-variety progressive Democrat of privilege who has freely admitted to his ignorance of the Bill of Rights and has often adopted the disastrous policies of his New York counterparts rather than think through the consequences to his own state; for example, the COVID nursing-home scandal, emptying jails, and free money and welfare programs for illegal immigrants. In December, Murphy latched on to Hochul’s post-Bruen CCW restrictions, enacting the same list of barred locations that add on to an already existing regulatory burden of multiple background investigations and approvals, mandatory training, ammunition limits, waiting periods, and storage requirements for home and transport that puts locked and unloaded weapons out of an owner’s reach during a critical need for self-defense.  Permit fees are now skyrocketing in the Garden State, and new liability insurance requirements will have a disparate impact upon low-income residents, creating for them an economic deprivation of their Second Amendment rights in populated areas and urban settings where self-defense against violent crime sees its most acute need.

While he turns the screws down on lawful gun owners, Murphy downplays the exceptional progress made by law enforcement in his own state to reduce gun violence.  Over the last eight years, the state police has created a unique crime gun intelligence program that focuses upon serial gun offenders and mitigates the harmful effects of bail reform laws that put serious offenders back on the street.  The bureaucracy of examining seized crime guns for traditional purposes of prosecution, a process that ordinarily took ten months, has been retooled at state labs to test guns foremost for lead value information — fingerprints, DNA, trace biologics — within 24 to 48 hours, thereby enhancing the speed and effectiveness of street detectives conducting shooting investigations and pursuing suspects. 

Every day, crime analysts sift through hundreds of statewide arrests, focusing upon those involving weapons and digging into individual criminal histories that reveal violent recidivism.  State attorneys are given daily briefings on those most at risk for repeating their shooting crimes if released under the state’s liberal bail reform laws.  That information is passed along to county and local prosecutors who can now argue before the bench at arraignments for detention or high bail without doing harm to the spirit of the law.  By concentrating efforts on the serial shooters, this program has brought about a 25 percent drop in total shooting victims and a twenty percent decrease in murder victims statewide.  That’s 350 less people shot and forty fewer people dead from gunfire every year.

Governor Murphy gives little public recognition to this effective law-enforcement program as it would fluff the sails of his effort to impose heavy-handed gun controls on lawful residents.  In his fanaticism to harass legal gun owners, he also conveniently ignores federal studies showing that ninety percent of the weapons used in crimes are obtained illegally, either through theft or off the black market.

A well-armed, Secret Service-trained, state police executive protection unit meticulously protects the public and private life and movements of Phil Murphy and his family.  They are with him and the First Lady day and night, whether on the road, in the governor’s mansion, or vigilantly camped overnight outside his 9.5 million dollar Monmouth County estate.  They shadow Murphy’s children on shopping treks, nights out, and during their school days at private academies.  Despite his Wall Street wealth, enlarged in 2021 by a five million dollar surge in his stock portfolio, taxpayers still foot the bill when the detail is dragged along on holiday vacations to Tanzania, extended stays at his $7.3 million dollar, 23-room Umbrian villa in central Italy, or at his more modest home in Berlin.

New Jersey voters fed up with his COVID authoritarianism and hypocrisy sought to unseat him in his 2021 re-election bid.  Late election night found Murphy trailing his opponent by three points statewide and behind ten points in one Democrat county when political fortunes suddenly reversed between television commercials.  Republican voters went to bed confident of one outcome and awoke to a daylong, ballot dumping, six-point sprint to the finish line for the incumbent.