New Jersey Denies Concealed Carry Permit to Lieutenant Colonel with Top Secret Clearance

Authors S.H. Blannelberry
Lt. Col.

Lt. Col. Terry S. Russel. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The state of New Jersey has denied a concealed carry permit to a Lieutenant Colonel who holds a Top Secret clearance and works at a U.S. Army arsenal that was recently the target of a terrorist attack.

Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell of the United States Army applied for a concealed carry permit almost one year ago, according to the National Review. He was denied by Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus because he failed to show “justifiable need,” despite the fact that, as Russell explained in his application,

1) “service members, including family members, have been specifically targeted by radical extremist” groups;

2) the U.S. military has “verified” that “ISIS has placed a significant emphasis to actively identify US military personnel”; and

3) that Picatinny Arsenal itself (where Russell works) had been evacuated recently “due to the discovery of a dry run attempt to drive a Vehicle Borne Improved Explosive Device onto Post.”

The Police Chief didn’t buy it.

“There are no specific threats or previous attacks on you,” Barcus wrote in his denial letter, and neither is there any “special danger to your life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.”

Russell brought the case to court, where Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley sided with Barcus. “Although there may have been threats received at the Picatinny Arsenal,” Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni wrote, “none of these threats appear to specifically relate to this applicant — he is in no different position than any other person who is assigned to that facility.”

If, as the National Review puts it, “a high-target military-arms expert” is not eligible for a concealed carry permit in New Jersey, who precisely is? The casual dismissal of the Oceanport Police Department and the narrow interpretation of “justifiable need” by the New Jersey Courts has effectively denied a U.S. service member his constitutional rights.

This is precisely the kind of ruling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie aimed to stop with his recent set of executive orders. The new policies change the language governing carry permits to allow New Jersey residents to obtain a permit if they can prove a “serious threat” to their person. The previous language forced citizens like Russell to prove “specific threats or previous attacks” before being approved.

Under the new language, Russell has a much better chance of being granted a permit. His position as a Project Manager for the Army’s Small Arms Program exposes him to a serious threat of a terrorist attack, as does his Top Secret (TS) Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance.

But knowing New Jersey’s draconian gun laws and the propensity of state judges to uphold them, one can never really be certain.

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  • Jim June 28, 2018, 8:46 pm

    Apparently you can’t get a CCW permit in NJ until after you have been murdered.

  • Binor January 25, 2018, 10:50 am

    Well as a former NJ resident ,I am very suprised that they let the Police carry guns ! ! !

  • Mr. Sparkles May 5, 2017, 8:09 am

    Not sure how old this story is but my only comment is that public servants like the police chief mentioned here should remember that their thinking it and saying it, does not make it true and everyone, even our former liar in chief know this and all they are really doing is showing their own ignorance and stupidity.

  • Kenneth A Jenkins June 10, 2016, 10:07 am

    Putting his smiling face on the website makes it easier for bad guys to identify him too. Publishing his security clearance isn’t a good idea either. I guess after he gets shot or his family is held hostage to get him to do whatever the bad guys want may be a good time to authorize his licensure.

  • Alan June 5, 2016, 11:04 pm

    This is what happens when “public servants” get the bit in their teeth, and run wild, totally out of control.

  • David Floyd May 31, 2016, 3:23 pm

    Chief Barcus is another narrow minded ignorant cop hiding behind severally outdated laws. He has no desire to learn new ways, probably can’t understand the fact that ISIS will continue it’s attacks on high level targets in America.
    It is possible that the cop Bracus can’t read, or can really understand the danger ISIS has become.

    • Tom June 2, 2016, 11:40 am

      How much do you want to bet the chief’s WIFE has a concealed carry permit?
      Time to investigate precisely who he did give them to, and their personal relationship to the chief.

  • Bluesman May 31, 2016, 12:56 am

    Carry anyway. Period

  • David Kachel May 30, 2016, 8:32 pm

    There are 50 states in America, plus D.C.
    Only four of them are severely communist: CA, NJ, IL and D.C.
    Why don’t the other 47 of us just invade and free their peoples?!

    • Dave May 31, 2016, 12:43 am

      You forgot NY

      • Mr. Sparkles May 5, 2017, 8:11 am

        And Taxachausetts!

  • David Kachel May 30, 2016, 8:25 pm

    Well, this has been educational nonetheless. We have learned who the most stupid sheriff and most stupid judge in America are located. And we have also found two treasonous communists, the exact same duo. It is always good to know who the enemy is and where they are located.

  • Prospector Paul May 30, 2016, 6:35 pm

    My first wife stood off 4 gang bangers with a 5 shot 2″ ..38. None were brave enough to see which one Grandma would take out first. She went on to promote concealed carry in the state legislature. She got 8 more years of life. It was legal to have the firearm in your vehicle. When she passed, an anti-gun State Senator presented her with a proclamation from the Senate

    • KarmaGeddon November 18, 2018, 3:31 am


  • Dilligaf May 30, 2016, 10:36 am

    Cali and Jersey, the two most COMMUNIST states in America. Very little rights are given in those two states

  • Scott May 28, 2016, 12:07 pm

    Why not put all anti-gunners up for treason in aiding the enemy? The 90,000,000 gun owners in this country are a force against any foreign power. To disarm them is a big blow to national security.

    • Donald Conner May 28, 2016, 6:45 pm

      Scott hit it dead on the head with 20 pound hammer.
      With State Supreme Courts like this one, who needs external enemies? This court is a virtual 5th Column in black robes. I used to smoke the same thing they smoked to come to this decision, but I finally realized it was insane to stay high all the time. But these imbeciles exalt themselves and issue orders the United States Supreme Court has expressly said are unconstitutional. No wonder The Mob runs most of Jersey–these Doofuses don’t want to deal with the really tough cases “NAH, TOO MJUCH HASSLE”.

    • Robert Christianson May 29, 2016, 1:55 pm

      In the prosecutor’s ruling ruling he stated, “Although there may have been threats received at the Picatinny Arsenal, none of these threats appear to specifically relate to this applicant — he is in no different position than any other person who is assigned to that facility.” That is exactly the point. Anyone in that position should have the rifht to defend themselves. By the prosecutor’s logic it will take a death to occur before a concealed carry permit would be considered. Too late to make a difference.

  • JS May 28, 2016, 10:20 am

    This is why Trump is probably going to be the next President. Police Departments with too much authoritarian discretion. I am a former LEO and always found comfort in an armed public. There are far more good firearms owners than thugs.

  • Kivaari May 27, 2016, 10:25 pm

    Governor Christie is an enemy of the people. He actually ran for president, and painfully supported Trump. The people of NJ have no shame.

    • DB January 25, 2018, 4:59 pm

      Even for a progressive and dim that’s an ignorant a comment!
      See your proctologist immediately, there’s a reason for your oxygen deprivation!

  • Terry Carter May 27, 2016, 6:49 pm

    We all object, with reason, to the efforts being used against our right to bear arms, but there is no cohesion concerning an action to fight them. One of the pro gun groups, who would have the facilities and ability, should compile a list of all the politicians known to be anti 2 nd amendment . We could then make an effort to NOT vote for any of them. Perhaps that much pressure might influence the evil ones to work on something else. Also–we may not be able to attack the current politicians concering their lack of effort in defending the 2 nd, but we should be able to sue the crap out of individuals, like blooming burg who are actively against our right to bear arms. Give it some thought?

    • Jim May 31, 2016, 7:23 am

      there already is a list of anti-American/2nd Amendment NJ Politicians in the NJ Legislature which is put out by the Association of NJ rifle & pistol clubs. It’s virtually every Democrat in the Democrat controlled Assembly & Senate. Plus almost all of the Judges who have been appointed by the same ant-freedom Democrats.
      This should be a warning to everyone else in America to Never vote Progressive Democrat.

  • Fred May 27, 2016, 6:33 pm

    New Jersey really doesn’t care about its citizens. When a army lieutenant who’s is trained in how to handle a weapon can’t get a permit to carry. This state sucks

    • Tom J June 2, 2016, 12:18 pm

      I have a friend who I went to school with who is a NJ State Trooper, he did 2 tours in Iraq and when he came home, even though he slept with his rifle and side arm every hour of those 2 tours the state police made him re-qualify with his weapons before he was able to carry again. how crazy is that ??

  • Paul Regula May 27, 2016, 6:03 pm

    I’ve lived here all my life and will finally be free next spring when I sell my house ,only here do your neighbors dial 911 when you put a rifle case in your truck to go to the range !

  • Bob Van Istendal May 27, 2016, 5:38 pm

    N.J. will one day have no wealth and good people there.
    One of the biggest crime states where all the criminals have guns and are killing people in the citys. The law abiding folks cant even carry to protest them selves.
    They are so much behind the times, no wonder people are moving out.
    I left 27 years ago, now my taxes, insurance and a few other items are much lower.

  • Robert Hutchinson May 27, 2016, 1:36 pm

    The only way to get a permit in Jersey, it seems, is to get murdered first. I’m baffled that no one can seem to find a higher court to put an end to this blatantly unconstitutional lunacy.

  • Thomas Meyers May 27, 2016, 1:35 pm

    What part of “shall not be infringed” is hard to understand?

    • Penrod May 27, 2016, 2:35 pm

      If you were a subtle thinker, a requirement to be a Superior Court Judge, prosecutor, police chief, or politician in New Jersey, you would understand that “shall not be infringed” obviously means “may be made a felony.”

  • Ch Sn May 27, 2016, 1:18 pm

    Does anyone know if those that denied the permit have permits themselves?

  • Jim Land May 27, 2016, 11:52 am

    The Police Chief didn’t buy it. But he has his Gun

    • Scott May 27, 2016, 12:25 pm

      2nd amendment was not created to allow American citizens to bear arms for deer hunting it was to protect the common citizen from tyranny from there own government! As useless and corrupt as our government has become and the fact that the police will shoot first and fabricate justification later it’s in our best interest to carry weapon with or without approval from anyone! Can you say grounds for a revolution !!

  • AK May 27, 2016, 11:49 am

    The anti-Christie comments here are clueless. I was born and raised in that state, left 40 years ago. Even back then the anti-gun culture was pervasive. It is not now and never will be Missouri or Alabama, regarding gun rights. God could appoint Wayne LaPierre governor and it would not make a difference. Christie, by pardoning convicted ‘offenders’ who simply carried from one house to another, vetoing anti legislation, and bucking the loonbat legislature and police tyrants (in NJ that’s exactly what they are) has done more – little as it could be – for NJ owners than anyone in the 20th or 21st centuries.

    But let’s wait until the next gun-grabbing Dem Gov is elected so you can see the comparison. NJ then will make California look like a gun owners paradise, and NJ gun owners will be wishing for another Christie.

  • Robert May 27, 2016, 11:40 am

    I’m a born and raised “Jersey Boy” and I can tell you, “Jersey” has always been this way!! Why? I’m not sure. This is one of the reasons I left and never looked back! “Jersey” will never change! The People are too stupid to vote for change! They would rather roll over like Sheep accepting ridiculously high cost of living, outrageous Insurance Premiums, over-zealous ticket happy Police/State Troopers, pollution as well as Politicians who thumb their noses at The People every chance they get than Clean Their Political House!! There’s a reason why most States/People refer to “Jersey” as “The United Soviet Socialist Republic of New Jersey”!!! Not to mention “The Armpit of The East Coast”!!

  • John May 27, 2016, 11:21 am

    They used to call Teddy Kennedy a Big Fat Drunk. Chris Christie ought to be nicknamed The Big Fat Lying Hypocrite Drunk. Somehow he feels this true image is hidden from the people. Go west of the Mississippi and everyone calls him that. They used to laugh at me when I told them I came from Massachusetts, but now the bigger joke is on New Jersey. They are too dumb to know when they are being repeatedly raped by their politicians. Last place I would ever want to live. Probably better in Russia or China. I dislike party politics in any state, but the Democrats seem to be trying to imitate Communism. I have a friend who is Jewish who was able to leave Russia under Gorbachev’s Glasnost. He said to me one day, What is wrong with Americans? I left Russia to get away from Government like this. Don’t Americans understand they are letting their government go communist? They are taking away the rights of the people! Russian people had enough of this and that’s why Russia fell apart!

  • RAM6 May 27, 2016, 11:19 am

    New Jersey suffers from decades of liberal Democrats controlling the legislature and in most cases the governorship. This is what the citizens of this state get for electing these anit-constitutionalists to office. If you don’t like the laws get them changed by voting in constitutional constructionists to legislature and a real Republican conservative governor not a RINO like Christie. Remember you get the government you voted for and nothing more.

    • Bob Van Istendal May 27, 2016, 6:00 pm

      You are 100% correct, Look at City’s in N.J. that are in shambles and have had Democrats in control for decades like Camden and same with other Citys like Detroit, Chicago, E. Stlouis and many others.

  • Steve G May 27, 2016, 10:53 am

    Whiskey…….Tango…….Foxtrot? I guess one has to have a gun pointed at his head to qualify? That police chief should be fired and the judge removed from the bench.

    • James May 27, 2016, 4:54 pm

      … and their gun permits revoked since there’s no longer a ‘need’ for one. Sheesh!

  • Larry May 27, 2016, 10:43 am

    And the fearless “leader” of this state is the crisco man governor, Chris Christie! Just one more left leaning Rino trying to hide out in American clothes. Please Donald, do not pick this piece of dirt as your VP running mate!

  • Ronhart May 27, 2016, 10:02 am

    I am SO GLAD I left New Jersey in 1957 and never looked back. I am an endowment member of the NRA, gun collector and live in an open carry state. I don’t have a carry permit, but there is always a firearm very close to me. If you can’t trust a commissioned officer of our military services, who can you trust? A New Jersey politician or bureaucrat ?? New Jersey has been and will always be a Gestapo state until the slaves revolt and overthrow the government. Any wonder that RINO Governor Christie didn’t make the cut for the presidential nomination?

  • Rose May 27, 2016, 9:19 am

    No one has the right to envy me my 2nd amendment.. All law abiding American citizens have th legal and constitutional right to own and carry a weapon.. And this should be law in every state in our county.
    Our drivers license is valid anywhere we drive in America and it should be the same with a gun license..
    Vote out these leftie liberal’s in our state, who think they can play with our constitutional rights.

    • Ralph Hume May 28, 2016, 7:01 pm

      Where in our Constitution does it say that we need a gun permit?

      • Mike May 31, 2016, 1:17 pm

        2/3 of the way down the middle of the third paragraph at the 14th

  • F. Donovan May 27, 2016, 9:02 am

    I have lived in NJ all my life and enough is enough. Our gun laws are to protect the criminals. The second Amendment means nothing to the politian’s in NJ. I am out of hear as soon as my house sells.

  • Chris May 27, 2016, 8:50 am

    NJ gets what they vote for. As long as they keep putting these anti-gun PsOS in office they’ll continue to reap this kind of treatment. For the life of me I fail to understand how a ‘may issue’ licensing scheme stands the test of constitutionality. We have the right, both God given and Constitutionally enshrined, to carry a friggin’ piece of hardware to protect ourselves (exactly for the same reason that police carry). I’d like to see the good Col haul Barcus’ and Oxley’s rumps into a Federal court and beat them severely over this.

  • Mr. Sparkles May 27, 2016, 8:43 am

    When being a law abiding citizen means failing in my responsibility to defend, feed, cloth or house my family, I will willingly(and proudly) wear the moniker of “Outlaw”.

  • Stive May 27, 2016, 8:32 am

    Welcome to the Peoples Republic of New Jersey!
    Chris Christy, what the hell has he done for New Jersey, state of high taxes and highest auto insurance in the country.
    I wouldn’t go there if they paid me.

  • Moe Paquette May 27, 2016, 8:22 am

    If NJ is all that anti gun then maybe they should disarm there police agencies. Apparently with that little crime in that state they can just talk criminals into turning themselves in.

  • Chuck May 27, 2016, 8:17 am

    This anti-gun crap in Jersey is at the top of my list for keeping Christie away from the Trump administration.

  • Boobaloo May 27, 2016, 8:08 am

    Free people own and carry firearms. Slaves do not.

  • Jay May 27, 2016, 7:57 am

    Just carry one anyways. I travel all across this country frequently, and I carry where ever I go. If the time ever comes I need to use it to save my life, I will deal with the consequences afterward. But at least I will be alive to do so. New Jersey is a shit hole state and they prove it everyday. Tell that chief to walk around and not carry, hell he hasn’t had any threats on his life and he carries. It once again will take blood spilled before these morons who call themselves the protectors of the public, to say I’m sorry. I was wrong.

    • Shah Muhammad II of Khwarazmia (1200-1220AD) May 27, 2016, 11:26 am

      Considering the draconian nature of NJ Gun Laws, I wouldn’t risk carrying in NJ.

      I had a girlfriend who lived in Somerset County and worked as a police dispatcher. She had a picture on her desk of myself and her at a range holding AKs. Where I live it is legal to possess AKs. Someone saw the picture, didn’t like it, and turned her into the chief. She got suspended while they ‘investigated.’ It took them a week to realize the pickup in the back of us had MT plates on it—after they searched her house and found nothing.

      They wanted me to come back to NJ to explain. I told them to go pound sand.

  • Thos Pained May 27, 2016, 7:55 am

    A police chief is an administrator hired, appointed, and accountable to a politician or committee. An administrator (and political hack) does not need a firearm to do their job. The citizen voters of the community need to work together to demand the police administrator be prohibited from carrying a firearm. And use their collective will at the ballot box to remove any politician to refuses to listen to them. Remember, the politicians and their appointed hacks are employees of the people, and as such, can be fired for failure to obey their bosses!
    Remember what Frederick Douglass said, “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. “

  • Nick May 27, 2016, 7:51 am

    His right to keep and bear arms has been infringed. The voters need to remove that unelected politician.

  • Jared Neirinckx May 27, 2016, 7:20 am

    I’d write a letter to Trump, or tweet him – explain the situation, provide supportive links like the letter, this article, and Christie’s “pro-2A comments”. I have a feeling that politics will for once aid in doing something right. If not, the conservative press and the people will.

  • Ed Clark May 27, 2016, 7:11 am

    Armed men are proud men that feel empowered to protect their own dignity. The liberals cannot afford to have their constituency take charge of their own dignity.
    I will feed you (What I want you to eat)
    I will house you (Where I want)
    I will protect you (When its convenient)

    This is the major reason Christie never had a chance. He bragged about his Pro 2A position because he vetoed a ban on .50 cal weapons.

  • Richard M Brady May 27, 2016, 6:49 am

    New Jersey’s legislature controlled by liberal, anti-gun democrats continue to operate in the dark ages when it comes to self defense with handguns. New Jerseyans evidentally have ballot issues greater than their need to carry when electing these people. There is no other issue on this earth more important than protecting you or your loved ones lives. Electing common sense sheriffs and county judges that are pro second amendment and new legislators that believe in the right to carry is the only way New Jersey will come out of the dark.

  • Todd Jaffe May 27, 2016, 5:44 am

    Until Christie and his legislature becomes pro-2A I will consider him a Democrat in rhino clothing.

  • Alan Butterworth May 27, 2016, 4:56 am

    Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley and Chief D.W. Barcus… working hard keeping Criminals Safe in New Jersey.
    You two Law Enforcement IMPOSTERS should be tarred and feathered for caring more about Perps than Patriots.

  • Charlie Boudreaux May 27, 2016, 4:36 am

    Christie ?……………Christie ?……………Christie ?……………Christie ?……………

  • James Green May 27, 2016, 3:02 am

    Hey, I was a Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) qualified to wear a gun in the cockpit with the major airline I flew for. And that credential authorized me to carry the weapon anywhere within the USA. I applied for a Concealed Carry permit in Manhattan, based upon that qualification… and was also denied. I appealed it telling them I was already armed with a federally issued gun. Still no go! So I, as a Senior Airline Captain, and my Wife, who is a lawyer, moved from New York. No way was I going to be treated so poorly. We took our money elsewhere. The leaders of the Big Apple are clueless!

    • DRAINO May 27, 2016, 7:12 am

      That’s where you gotta hit those stinking Demo-Libs….in the wallet. But even then, they will twist everything around to suit their socialist agenda. I realize that not everyone has a choice where they live(to an extent), but a lot of people do(even though they don’t realize it). Those that can, REALLY need to get out of these socialist states. If you like having your freedoms denied, then stay there. Just don’t complain about it if you choose not to do anything about it.

      • Ginger Himes May 27, 2016, 8:29 am

        Yet, I believe that some in our government want Americans helpless in the event of another attach on American soil. Not giving well trained people the right to carry would help meet that goal.

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