New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy wants to make it dramatically more expensive for residents to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
Per his latest budget, first obtained by NJ.com, Murphy would hike handgun purchase permits from $2 to $50, firearms ID cards from $5 to $100, concealed carry permits from $50 to $400, state FFL licenses from $50 to $500 and wholesaler/manufacturer fees from $150 to $1,500.
“It’s hard to believe it’s actually cheaper to get a permit to purchase a handgun, which is $2, than it is to get a dog license in practically any town in our state,” said the Democratic governor earlier this month.
Fees on gun permits have not increased in the Garden State since the ’60s. Murphy’s proposed increases would bring in an additional $1.4 million in revenue.
Budget negotiations between the governor and the Legislature are ongoing and are expected to grow more intense this week before the June 30th deadline. To the chagrin of anti-gun advocates, Democratic leaders have not yet committed to the sweeping “Murphy tax” on gun ownership.
“The state has not raised these fees for 52 years while every other cost in the world has gone up significantly,” Bryan Miller, executive director of the group Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence told NJ.com. “The governor’s budget has these fees in it. The legislative leadership budget does not. Somehow, I don’t think that’s an accident.”
For gun-rights advocates, Murphy’s budget isn’t just about raising revenue for the state. It’s also about chilling the 2A rights of law-abiding citizens.
“What gun prohibitionists like New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy can’t outright ban they want to tax out of existence,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in an email to GunsAmerica. “The power to tax can be the power to destroy. Destroying the Second Amendment is his ultimate goal.”
By week’s end, we should have a clearer picture as to what will happen with those fees associated with gun ownership. Stay tuned for updates.