When the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey headlined its anti-gun editorial Friday that last week’s 231-198 House vote on concealed carry reciprocity was “a slap at NJ,” the response could not be simpler: New Jersey gun laws are a slap at the Second Amendment.
The editorial proudly boasted that, “New Jersey is one of just 10 states that do not already recognize out-of-state concealed carry permits, which only reinforces the fact that New Jersey remains one of the leaders in understanding the value of tight gun controls,” as if this is a good thing. Here’s a newspaper using its First Amendment rights to attack another liberty protected by the Bill of Rights.
Dare anyone remind the Asbury Park Press about the Draconian treatment of Shaneen Allen, jailed for weeks because she was honest? Should the newspaper be reminded that the “tight gun controls” it seems so proud of have been blamed for the brutal driveway slaying of Carol Bowne in Berlin Township?
Perhaps the newspaper editorial board should chat this over with New Jersey Congressmen Tom MacArthur (R-3), Frank LoBiondo (R-2) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11). All three voted for H.R. 38, the reciprocity bill.
MacArthur was quoted by The Observer explaining, “This legislation will ensure that what happened to Shaneen (Allen) does not happen to any other law-abiding gun owners by requiring states to recognize each other’s gun carry permits, while recognizing states’ rights to create their own firearms laws. Opponents of this bill will argue that this legislation will enable dangerous people to obtain firearms. This is completely false. This bill, will allow a law-abiding citizen to carry concealed gun only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm.”
Earlier this year, the Second Amendment Foundation, a national gun rights organization that has rolled up an impressive track record for lawsuits challenging local gun laws, such as the Chicago handgun ban, issued a “travel advisory” to gun owners to avoid California. SAF hasn’t done the same about New Jersey, though a lot of people suggested that very action.
Had New Jersey gun laws been in effect 241 years ago, Gen. George Washington and the Continental Army would have all been arrested for crossing the Delaware to capture Trenton because they didn’t have the proper gun permits. As the Observer noted, “New Jersey has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the (nation) and concealed carry permits are rarely or never granted to ordinary citizens.”
It’s tough enough when government demonstrates that it does not trust the citizens it is supposed to serve with the exercise of a constitutionally delineated fundamental right, but when a newspaper like the Asbury Park Press does it, critics might justifiably wonder if that publication should be trusted to exercise another fundamental right.