New Jersey has long been unfriendly to gun owners and the Second Amendment. Recently, though, the state’s politicians have gone into overdrive. In fact, Gov. Philip Murphy has plans to make it even more difficult for gun owners exercising their rights; he wants to increase the fees for buying a gun approximately 2,000 percent. Yes, 2,000 — that’s not a typo.
It is already difficult to obtain a firearm in the Garden State. To be allowed to purchase a gun, residents must go to the police department and apply for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. The police then perform a background check criminal and mental health history, in addition to the federal background check required by law. Residents must also go through an additional to obtain a handgun permit.
In regard to carry a gun, it is legal in New Jersey. However, the state only issues concealed-carry permits to those who can show they have a reason. This makes New Jersey a “may issue” state, rather than a “shall issue.” Currently, it costs $5 to get a firearm permit and an additional $2 for a handgun permit. Residents must pay $20 for a carry permit. Murphy wants these fees dramatically increase to combat gun violence in the state.
Gov. Philip Murphy Gun Fee Increases
If Murphy gets his way, New Jersey gun owners would have to pay $100 for a firearm permit and $50 for a handgun permit. Those wanting to carry a gun concealed would have to pay $400. So, the costs for those wanting to buy a handgun and a permit would increase from $27 to $550.
Murphy plans to spend the increased revenue, which would be about $9 million, on anti-gun violence initiatives. He also says it will reduce criminal access to firearms. However, most guns used in New Jersey crimes come from out of state.
“In 2018, roughly 80 percent of guns used in the commission of a crime came from out of state,” Murphy notes in the budget, according to Reason. So, gun proponents claim this is simply a way to prevent law-biding citizens from purchasing firearms for defense, particularly those in poorer areas where crime is rampant. Additionally, Murphy wants to create a 10 percent tax on ammunition purchases and a 2.5 percent tax on firearms.
“Anything that increases or puts a tax on law-abiding citizens that want nothing more than to be able to protect themselves is discriminatory and is specifically designed towards targeting low-income individuals,” said New Jersey Second Amendment Society President Alexander Roubian.
Roubian has already threatened a lawsuit if these changes become implemented. While a possibility, Murphy’s proposals face an uphill battle, even in this anti-gun state.
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by Sara Ahrens / May 1, 2019