Sunday, April 10, 2016

Governor Christie Moves to Administratively Improve NJ Gun Permit System

Governor Christie of New Jersey is pushing to make some incremental changes to improve the arcane and inconsistent New Jersey firearms licensing system. From capemaycountyherald:
TRENTON -- Acting on Governor Chris Christie’s commitment to ensure fair and consistent application of the state’s gun laws that respects individual’s Second Amendment rights and protects public safety, the Office of Attorney General announced a directive and guideline issued by Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy, and a regulatory change to align the regulations governing the issuance of a carry permit with New Jersey Supreme Court precedent interpreting the statutory standard of justifiable need. Taken together, the changes will help ensure all applicants receive efficient and uniform consideration in the processing of firearm permit applications.
 The change in the regulation for the issuing of carry permits opens the possibility of people other than former police officers, judges, or the politically connected to obtain permits.  From the proposed change(pdf):
     In practical application, this change will allow the chief of police or the Superintendent, as the case may be, to consider evidence of serious threats that are not directed specifically at an individual and that establish more than mere generalized fears or concerns. That is, there may be circumstances that pose a sufficiently concrete threat to warrant the issuance of a permit (establishing the requisite urgent necessity for self-protection) but that do not yet involve a specific threat directed at a particular individual. For example, one such situation could be a taxi driver who works nights in a particular precinct where armed assailants recently and on multiple occasions had flagged down cabs at night and robbed and shot the drivers. Another example of a serious but not specific threat may be where the applicant is an eyewitness to a murder committed by the member of a street gang that has engaged in systematic and dangerous witness intimidation and retaliation. 

    The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4(d) also makes explicit that the permit application shall demonstrate that the special danger to a carry permit applicant's life cannot be avoided by "reasonable" means other than issuance of a permit to carry a handgun. This change clarifies that, in considering whether an applicant has met the justifiable need showing required for approval of a handgun carry permit application, the issuing authority should consider whether there are any reasonable means, other than a issuance of a carry permit, by which the applicant could avoid the special danger to his or her life, rather than whether there are any conceivable or unreasonable means to do so (such as moving out of the State or never leaving one's residence). This change will provide greater objectivity, consistency, and clarity in the application of this standard.   
 People have until May 6th to submit comments concerning the proposed change:
Submit comments by May 6, 2016, to:
Colonel Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent
Attn: Firearms Investigation Unit
New Jersey State Police
PO Box 7068
West Trenton, New Jersey 08638
or electronically to:

 Additional changes include a requirement by all firearm licensing authorities to submit an annual report of the number of license applications received, by month, and how long it took to process the applications, by month.  Such reporting will bring much needed transparency to the the New Jersey licensing scheme.

The ability to transport a handgun from one place to another has been made a bit more reasonable.

A study group is required to meet in 45 days, and submit a report on the best practises for an enhanced licensing system using the latest technological advances. That report is due in February of next year.

New Jersey is a strong contender as the state most contemptuous of Second Amendment rights.  Its law states that the privilege of owning a gun extends only so far as the state may permit.  This is the opposite of traditional American jurisprudence, where governments may forbid what is unlawful, but do not state that everything is unlawful *except* what we permit you to do.  New Jersey firearms law is based on the authoritarian or totalitarian model.

These improvements in the law have long been sought by Second Amendment supporters in New Jersey, who have said that Governor Christie could implement them unilaterally.

He appears to have listened, and is doing precisely that.

Update: The proposed reforms might be motivated by the $100,000 paid to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society by the AG Office, because they refused to show the guidelines for issuance of concealed carry permits.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Wireless.Phil said...

Obama administration turns over 'Fast and Furious' documents
CNN-17 hours ago

There's a New Twist in the El Chapo Saga, And It Involves the Obama Administration
This doesn't look good for the White House at all.
Steve Huff · Mar 16, 2016

A firearm removed from one of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's hideouts may give members of the Obama administration a bit of a headache. An Associated Press report published that indicated that out of 19 guns recovered after El Chapo's capture, one, a .50 caliber rifle, was traced back to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' failed (and controversial) 2010 "Fast and Furious" gun-running sting.

Anonymous said...

I dare that sob to find those requirements in the second amendment. self protection is not dependent on what anyone else gets to consider as a need. it is a right belonging to every one needs someone else's permission to speak or go to church and you do not need someone else's permission to defend your self. I have yet to see an appointment made for a time when you need to protect yourself. It usually happens in an instant and can happened any time day or night. I can see why those in government think they have more right to self protection, government Is supposed to fear the people and government is doing every thing at every level to earn that fear. getting elected to office is a choice and it does not make the elected life any more valuable than those lives that elected them. if those that get elected would stop screwing the voters they would have far less to fear.

RetMSgt in Pa. said...

Under the old plan, the authorities would take their sweet time, regardless of what state law said. Then they'd deny your application for a carry license.

Under the new plan, the authorities would now have to deny your application within a specific timeframe.

And the difference is? They still do not state, specifically, what constitutes "good cause."

Dean Weingarten said...

There is more opportunity to catch them in breaking the law and policies.

It makes a difference.

Sure, it would be better if the law was simply ruled unconstitutional, as it should have been.

But this is better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

As a citizen living in NJ under the worst firearm laws in the nation, Christie's move is too little to late. The key to unlock the scheme is to obtain a permit to carry. Nothing else really equals freedom. In NJ the statute reads, "all firearms are illegal to own, possess, buy, sell, carry . . . except". Then the law carves out these little exemptions. So I have a firearm purchaser's ID which is a limited long gun carry/own/posses permit. Technically I can drive around with an unloaded long gun, go just about anywhere. Handguns, not so much. They are forbidden anywhere except your property, your fixed location business (if you own it), the gun club and the FFL. Travel between these locations is permitted but that's it. Technically you can't leave the state with a handgun if you follow the statute unless you can prove you're destination is one of the above. NJ doesn't really accept the federal travel exemption although they tolerate it. People have been jammed up traveling through NJ as so many already know. What Christie could have done which would have fixed things is to enter into reciprocity agreements. The legislator has nothing to do with these, that is done by the attorney general's office and they answer directly to the governor. So NJ begins accepting any Florida carry license, resident or non-resident. That's it. Most of the statutes do not apply if you have a carry permit.