The following editorial was written by my friend “ScotShot”. He is a resident of New Jersey and a firearms trainer. ScotShot is a NRA Training Counselor, a USCCA instructor, and a CCW instructor. He is also the co-founder with Klint Macro of National Train-A-Teacher Day. He has a greater appreciation for the US Constitution and especially the Second Amendment than many. That is because he grew up in a country which has no written constitution and no such protections.
All of us gun owners across the country have been watching, and shaking our heads with a sort of wizened “told you so”, at the stories of people suddenly rushing to buy guns and ammunition, thanks to this new virus from China.
We’ve reserved particular attention, and rightly so, for our more liberal brothers and sisters who previously eschewed firearms ownership. In most states, the worst they’ve had to deal with is a long line, or perhaps a government mandated waiting period. Oh and yup, the mental butt hurt that comes from realizing that their favorite 2A loophole (the internet, gunshows, the gun-fairy..) doesn’t exist. You’d think they’d be pleased, except now they’re learning the hard way.
Of course, in some States, it’s even more difficult, which makes the residents of those States more at the mercy of their Government. Let’s consider what the situation is in New Jersey, which vies with California to have the most restrictive death-grip on the 2nd Amendment Rights of its Citizens.
In New Jersey, if you want to buy a firearm for the first time, you need to apply for and obtain a “Firearms Purchaser Identification Card”, the FPID card. Getting one is tedious but straightforward, but usually takes around three months. So, right there, people who want to buy their first firearm in NJ as a result of this viral crisis are, as they say, S.O.L. So, no lines of frustrated gun-newbs in NJ.
“BUT!”, you say, “at least existing gun owners can get a handgun, all those over-under-only hunters and skeeters, can still protect themselves, right?” Sadly, no; to buy a handgun, FPID holders must first get a “Permit to Purchase a Pistol.” Getting one (or two, or as many as you want), is tedious but straightforward and yes you guessed it, usually takes around three months. So, no handgun for you, Elmer; you’d best resort to the Biden Protocol. Oh, you can only get one handgun a month, so too bad if something dramatic happens and you need more, like now.
Nevertheless, law-abiding FPID card owners flooded their local FFLs and consequently flooded the NICS system. Enter villain number two, the NJ State NICS System. NJ is one of the states that gets between its gun-buyers and the Federal NICS system. Soon, the NJ NICS had a backlog of over 1,000 applications and then quickly announced that it was swamped and was unlikely to be able to process these in anything other than geological time. Then, the Governor closed the NJ NICS system, after not protecting gun stores and training facilities as essential, mandating their closure. Now, that’s no guns for anyone.
On Saturday March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy.
All of this of course, against a background of a governmental supermajority that supports even greater restrictions on 2A rights, firearm types and features, ammunition registrations and so on.
Hopefully, our new brothers and sisters in most states are getting what they want, and feel secure. Hopefully, they will go forward from this viral crisis and obtain proper training on the safe and efficient handling and use of their chosen firearms and hopefully, that will be happening all across our great country. It’s won’t be happening in New Jersey though. In New Jersey, the State Government will use this crisis to increase its grip on the lives of the people who live here, and their dependency on the government spoon.