Gov. Christie Institutes ‘Modest Incremental Improvement’ to the ‘Abomination’ that is New Jersey Gun Law

Gov. Chris Christie.  (Photo: Wikipedia)

Gov. Chris Christie. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Gov. Chris Christie offered beleaguered New Jersey gun owners a ray of hope last week as he announced amendments to the gun policies that govern concealed carry permits and the transportation of firearms.

Christie cited the tragic death of Carol Browne as his motivation for loosening gun regulations. Browne, a New Jersey resident, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend earlier this year while awaiting a concealed carry permit.

“The terrible tragedy involving Berlin resident Carol Bowne last summer was a jarring example of a permitting system that had failed and needed to be reexamined and fixed,” Christie said. The new policies, he continued, are meant to ensure that “constitutional rights will be protected and respected in New Jersey.”

The new language will allow citizens to obtain concealed carry permits if they can prove a “serious threat” to their person. The previous language forced citizens to prove “specific threats or previous attacks” before being approved for a permit, which, according to NJ.com, almost never happened unless the applicant was “former police and sheriff’s deputies and those employed as armed security guards.”

As an example of a “serious” but not “specific” threat, the Attorney General’s office described “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,” according to NorthJersey.com.

Christie also announced changes to the rules that govern the transportation of firearms within the state. Previously, the policy allowed residents without a concealed carry license to transport their unloaded, secured firearms to and from hunting grounds or shooting ranges with “reasonably necessary” deviations.

Christie’s proposal explicitly lists examples of such deviations, including “collecting and discharging passengers; purchasing fuel, food and beverages, medication, or other needed supplies; using a restroom; contending with an emergency situation; or driving around a traffic jam.”

While the efforts are obviously a step in the right direction, gun rights groups in New Jersey haven’t been throwing any parties. Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, described the change to the carry permit standard as a “modest incremental improvement” to an “abomination.”

The reason for his reticence is simple: New Jersey police officers still control the entire approval process, and the pro-Second Amendment community isn’t convinced the new policies will force them to abide by the law.

While the new directives call on State Police “to identify best practices” and for local police to process gun purchase and carry applications “as expeditiously as practicable,” New Jersey Second Amendment Society President Alexander Roubian asked NJTV News, “If [they’re] not following the law to begin with, what is it going to make any difference if the attorney general tells them to do it?”

The NJTV report cited an undercover video taken by the Second Amendment society that shows an Orange Police detective sergeant flat-out denying that New Jersey citizens could obtain concealed carry gun permits (starts at 1:29 in the link above).

At the end of the day, an un-elected state or local police officer still controls the constitutional rights of thousands of New Jersey residents every year. Christie’s policy changes loosen the letter of the law, but New Jerseyans are not likely to see much improvement until the legislature acts or the state imposes sufficient oversight on the concealed carry permit

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • DIYinSTL April 18, 2016, 11:10 am

    I imagine Christie is trying to maintain some bona fides to justify a V.P. nomination; it has been quite some time since he had an opportunity to pardon someone for illegally possessing and transporting a [300 year old flintlock] pistol. In some fairness, there is not a lot he can do as Governor to dull the sharp teeth of New Jersey’s gun laws.
    The previous reports I heard stated that Carol Browne was waiting on overdue paperwork to simply purchase a handgun, not a carry permit. If she was going for an N.J. CCW, good for her. If it was just permission, what an embarrassment; NJ is a boil on the anal orifice of the nation.

  • Irish-7 April 16, 2016, 11:46 am

    I loathe the state of New Jersey for their draconian, unconstitutional gun laws!

  • Rouge1 April 15, 2016, 12:36 pm

    RINO / EAST COAST DEMACOMMIE.

  • Dan April 15, 2016, 10:36 am

    If I am not mistake this out of touch state still bans hollow points used in handguns. A few years back two out of state LEO were arrested for having hollow points in their off duty weapons. Numerous citizens also had the same fate. I bet his bodyguards don’t follow that line of thinking but they probably carry donuts for him along with their weapons and ammo.

    • Steve April 15, 2016, 7:49 pm

      Also, 400 lbs. of bacon, a George Forman grill (each bodyguard has one), bread, butter, cheese, a small fryer, more cheese, and a 50 gallon barrel of soda.

  • Larry April 15, 2016, 10:08 am

    Yeah buddy, this fat ass leftist chunk of Crisco is the one we want defending our Constitutional Rights & appointing the next 3 or 4 Supremes! Sure!

  • Peter Hilton April 15, 2016, 8:20 am

    Nemmine “… prove a “serious threat” to their person…” What about a clear Constitutional right to bear arms without an unnecessary and onerous burden of proof on the bearer? And how often does “a serious threat” come unexpectedly whereupon the time required for application and approval is suddenly irrelevant?

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