Gun Control

N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy Wants To Raise Gun Permit Fees by 2,000 Percent

But most gun crimes are carried out with out-of-state firearms.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is renewing his push to strengthen the already-strict guns laws in the state by raising the fees required to buy a firearm by 2,000 percent or more.

New Jersey residents already have to jump through a lot of hoops to buy a gun, though Murphy's proposal would make the process considerably more expensive. As State Police Capt. Stephen Jones detailed to New Jersey 101.5 in 2016, it starts at the police department, where would-be gun owners must apply for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. It takes about a month or more for the police to run a background check on someone's criminal and mental health history. (This check is in addition to the one required by federal law at the point of sale for people looking to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.) The New Jersey ID card itself currently costs $5, but Murphy wants to raise the price to $100.

Potential handgun buyers must go through an additional, separate process to obtain a handgun permit, which currently costs just $2. Under Murphy's proposal, it would cost $50.

And what happens if you want to carry that handgun around? Well, good luck. It's largely illegal to open carry a handgun (though not a legally owned rifle or shotgun). Carrying a concealed handgun is permitted, but New Jersey is a "may issue" state, meaning you have to prove that you have a good reason to carry. It costs $20 to obtain a concealed carry permit. If Murphy gets his way, that will rise to $400.

Right now, a New Jersey resident looking to buy a handgun for concealed carry purposes is looking at $27 (at least) in state fees. That would go up to $550 under Murphy's proposal, an increase of more than 2,000 percent. His proposed 2020 state budget also calls for a 2.5 percent excise tax on gun sales, as well as a 10 percent ammunition tax, NJ.com reported last month.

"There's no war on responsible gun owners," the governor claimed to The New York Times recently. "We can support the efforts of the attorney general, state troopers, county and local law enforcement, to do the stuff we need to do: track crime, track gun violence, combat trafficking of illegal guns."

Murphy specifically cited the $10 cost to obtain a dog license in Jersey City, comparing it to the $2 cost of a handgun purchase permit. "That is backwards and it must change and it will change," Murphy said at a Rutgers University event on Tuesday.

It's a curious argument, to be sure. Dog licenses have absolutely nothing to do with handgun purchase permits, and even if they did, lowering the cost to get a dog license is a better solution than making it even harder to buy a gun. New Jersey, after all, already has the second-strongest gun laws in the country, after California, according to the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence.

Amazingly, Murphy's own budget suggests that his proposal won't help gun violence go down. "In 2018, roughly 80 percent of guns used in the commission of a crime came from out of state," he notes in the budget. Making it more difficult to legally obtain a gun in-state, of course, will do nothing to lower this number.

"Most crime guns in the Northeast are thought to come from the 'iron pipeline' from the South, and then they're sold on the street," Daniel Feldman, a professor of public management at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the Times.

Murphy wants to spend the new revenue on anti-gun violence initiatives. The various additional fees would raise about $9 million revenue, just a small fraction of his $38.6 billion proposed budget, which needs to be approved by the end of June.

It's Murphy's latest effort to make New Jersey's gun laws even more strict. In November, he signed into law legislation banning "ghost" guns (i.e. homemade firearms, particularly 3D guns, that are made from untraceable parts).

As expected, Second Amendment advocates and gun store owners are not pleased with his proposal to raise fees.

"It's specifically designed to deter people that can't afford it or don't have the time to go to the police department, take three [or] four days off of work, to be able to go apply, to go pick up the application," New Jersey Second Amendment Society President Alexander Roubian tells WNBC.

"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," Roubian, who's threatening a lawsuit, adds to WNYW.

Mel Katz, who owns Defense Security in East Windsor, New Jersey, expressed similar concerns about the limited resources of many gun owners.

"The majority of the people who are buying firearms are blue-collar. It's a hobby. They go hunting. They go target-shooting," he told NorthJersey.com last month. "And it's discretionary funds they use to support that hobby."

"But if now they want to go out and buy a handgun for $400 or $500, and it's going to cost them $100 just to get a permit to purchase," Katz added.

Lisa Caso, the owner of Caso's Gun-A-Rama in Jersey City was a bit more blunt. "I think what Murphy would want to happen," she told the Times, "is for every gun shop in the state of New Jersey to just close."

It is difficult to see what good would come out of Murphy's proposal. Considering this is the same state that banned high-capacity magazines, only for very few citizens to actually turn over their illegal magazines once a federal appeals court allowed the ban to take effect, it's not all that surprising. New Jersey politicians like to enact strict-sounding gun laws, but their effectiveness in actually lowering crime doesn't seem to matter all that much.

Murphy's proposal, meanwhile, faces an uphill battle in the state legislature. "We are the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to gun reform," state Senator Stephen Sweeney (D–3) previously told NorthJersey.com. "And just to check a box to say you did something, I'm not sure that's necessary."

Citing sources in Trenton, New Jersey's capital, WNBC's Brian Thompson reported that Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D–19) is "very skeptical" about the proposal as well.

An editorial regarding the proposal in the New Hampshire Union Leader may have characterized the plan best. "That will put the poor people in their place. No guns for you! The rich will still be able to afford weapons, of course. And since restrictive gun laws have never stopped criminals, they, too, will acquire them," the editorial reads. "Utopia is near at hand."

NEXT: California Politicians Hiked Gas Tax, Now Demand Investigation Into State's $4 Per Gallon Gas Prices

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  1. Murphy specifically cited the $10 cost to obtain a dog license in Jersey City, comparing it to the $2 cost of a handgun purchase permit. “That is backwards and it must change and it will change,”
    If that’s the problem, how about lowering the dog fee?

    1. Sorry progressives never want to go backward on taxation.

    2. I’d like Murphy to explain how fuck a dog license fee in Jersey City has to do with the rest of the state without me subsequently punching him in the mouth.

      1. Have you seen that guy’s teeth? Be careful you don’t cut yourself.

      2. And I’d like to add that if Christie wasn’t a total jackass in his 2nd term and Kim Guadano didn’t run a campaign with less skill and finesse than Gary Johnson, we might not be dealing with the 2nd incarnation of Jon Corzine.

    3. What do you suppose Murphy thinks about the cost of proof of ID to exercise other constitutional rights such as voting?

  2. I think this will be the straw that breaks the Atlantic City high crime back.

    1. Wait, what? Are you being sarcastic? I sure hope so!

      1. From what I hear, Atlantic City is where the Jersey Shore folks move to when they are down on their luck.

  3. Start small, and apply the tax to tax collectors, narcs and such…

  4. “That will put the poor people in their place. No guns for you! The rich will still be able to afford weapons, of course. And since restrictive gun laws have never stopped criminals, they, too, will acquire them,” the editorial reads. “Utopia is near at hand.”

    Hihn and Tony approve of this message.

    1. The criteria for entrance into the subsidized housing units will be a proven willingness to harass the low-income people who don’t vote for the one true party.

  5. Here is why this is actually happening:

    1-NJ carry laws and large capacity laws are in front of the SCOTUS right now. This is Murphy’s contingency plan because those laws are more than likely going to be declared unconstitutional. And,

    2-By making guns only available to the rich, you can start class warfare. “Haves” and “have-nots” will be created. Democrats have already conned the poor and made them dependent voters, it’ll be easy to start some class warfare and tell the poor to restrict the rights of the rich. The poor will follow this con right to the voting booth.

    Two things clearly in the progressive political strategy book.

    1. You can’t use taxes and fees to deprive people of their Constitutional rights. So, I think this is going to go down in the c ourts just like the large capacity laws likely will.

      1. The whole process in NJ is intended to do that. Until they lose, they’ll keep going.

        1. And probably even after that.

          1. Looks like that’s becoming a pattern in the coastal leftist states.

        1. Real estate taxes function like a poll tax.

      2. The government still recognizes a “right” to make full auto firearms. They closed the registry so you can’t legally do so anymore.

        So yes, you can use “taxes and fees” to deprive people of their rights.

  6. This is how gun grabbers incrementally steal your 2nd Amendment rights. “Oh, it’s just a license, same as you’d get for a car! Oh, by the way, that license costs 10 times the cost of a driver’s license, even though you’re just as likely to be killed in a drunk driving wreck as you are to be killed by someone with a firearm.”

    Today’s “common-sense regulation” is tomorrow’s loophole.

    1. It is also part of an overall culture war to make gun owners piriahs. We tax guns because they and the people who own them are bad just like smokers and tobacco are.

      1. I wish they’d do that for fat people instead of gun owners. You’re a hell of a lot more likely to die from some diet-related malady than you are from any firearm-related cause.

        1. How are fat people going to kill you?

          1. He has a fetish that involves being crushed by fat chicks.

            1. I think we all remember the Dark Brothers Classic film ‘Let Me Tell Ya About Fat Chicks’.

            2. Hey, in all fairness, half the guys at the day program fantasized about …

              and she didn’t weigh as much before she started taking those pills.

          2. You wouldn’t ask that if you were pinned under the body of one.

          3. The cost to pay for their diabetes medication and stomach stapling surgeries sure kills my wallet.

            1. That’s the inexpensive part of grating obesity. Really

    2. My favorite counter-argument has always been to ask them if they would like National Reciprocity for carry permits, just like a drivers’ license. If they would accept that a gun you never take off of your own property would be license-free, just as cars are.

      The ‘just like with cars’ argument is total pigswill, but the number of people who don’t realize that until you point it out is hysterically funny.

      1. And unfortunately, the people who I point it out to are never honest enough to say, “Oh, you’re right.” They come out with more pigswill like, “Of course, I didn’t mean the laws should be exactly the same,” or, “But with a gun on your property, you can harm people who are off your property,” (as if the property line magically prevents a driver in an unregistered, unlicensed car from crossing it and harming someone).

      2. I’ve done that frequently whenever the “car” argument is brought up (I also like to point out that I’d be able to buy any gun I wanted across state lines without a background check, and the renewal criteria would be a simple vision test), and they either go completely silent, or try to deflect that “we aren’t talking about cars!”

        Bitch, you made the analogy, you just didn’t bother to think it through. Now you just got skull-fucked with your own stupidity.

      3. I also point out that taking unlicensed cars to the track and wringing the piss out of them is perfectly legal.

        Just have to trailer it there.

        They would prefer to ban recreational racing in the name of climate change anyway. Or that’s what I got in response. They are impervious to reason

    3. I’m still wondering why Harris wants to close the “boyfriend loophole”. What does that lady do online during the weekend?

      Oh … My … G

      I knew she looked familiar.

  7. It takes about a month or more for the police to run a background check on someone’s criminal and mental health history.

    Varies depending on township. My brother waited 90 days (the max time allowed) and the police claimed they still needed another few weeks. A call from his lawyer got the application approved the next day.

  8. And for some reason that no one can explain to me, this isn’t racist.

    1. The darkies can’t be trusted with guns. Come on Paul, everyone knows that.

  9. The fees in NJ are fixed by statute which was passed in the 70’s and provided for no means to raise it to even stay at pace with inflation. Hence why the fees sound ridiculously low by 2019 standards. That is because they are.

    That doesn’t mean that the state should go jacking them up to astronomically high numbers. But, raising it to match the user cost I think is fine. That said the Left never does anything for an innocent reason such as charging user fees equivalent to local processing costs.

    Also, you are a fool if you try to get a concealed carry permit in NJ. The local courts will almost never issue one even if you have cause such as documented death threats, a stalker, carry large sums of cash for a job, etc. I saw one guys permit application get rejected, even when it was supported by the local police chief, and he had about a dozen documented death threats (including video of someone paying him a visit breaking in his car windows). The judge recommended to him that he move states if he thought the local police were not enough protection for him. Thanks Mr. Local Judge for that victim blaming.

    1. I’ve got a better idea. Since I shouldn’t need to pay a fee to exercise a constitutional right, how about we tear the whole fucking statute up and get rid of the restrictions?

      1. Things are headed that way, and the Proggies are fighting a rearguard action any way they can.

      2. I do not have an option to ‘like’ your post.

        Consider it liked. Fuck NJ and liberals in general.

    2. The judge recommended to him that he move states if he thought the local police were not enough protection for him.

      That judge deserves a woodchipper.

    3. Damn. A case like that justifies vandalizing the courthouse. However, if you have enough allies, it is safer physically and legally to just encourage those allies to attend the public court sessions of that judge wearing t-shirts in support of the cause. If you have even more allies, bringing it up at the appropriate political meetings is an even safer strategy. The strategy needs to match the severity of the injustice and the resources at hand.

  10. “”There’s no war on responsible gun owners,” the governor claimed to The New York Times recently.

    Yeah, raising the rates 2,000 percent is indication how supportive he is of gun rights. What other lies do you have for us today, Governor?

    “We can support the efforts of the attorney general, state troopers, county and local law enforcement, to do the stuff we need to do: track crime, track gun violence, combat trafficking of illegal guns.”

    I don’t know of many cops that are in favor of gun control. Most cops recognize that prohibition of anything, including guns, is a recipe for disaster like it is for making drugs illegal.

    1. Most cops recognize that prohibition of anything, including guns, is a recipe for disaster like it is for making drugs illegal.

      If that’s true, I wish they would say so more often.
      Though I do know one cop who swears he will never arrest anyone for marijuana possession.

      1. Where I live the Spokane PD announced a few years ago they would no longer respond to calls about marijuana or the smell of marijuana if a neighbor thinks someone is growing the stuff. Since WA went legal with recreational pot it worth their time to prosecute anymore.

  11. Note to Barbies of all genders: Raising a price to 20 times is only raising it 19 times; a 1900% increase.

    1. Well that changes everything.

    2. 5 times 20 equals 100.

      It’s a colloquialism, stop pretending it has a set definition.

      1. Just remember, you can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor.

    3. Now do “20 times lower”.

  12. I’m waiting for Tony to come in and explain how this is completely legal while other similar taxes, like voter id, are not.

  13. “It costs $20 to obtain a concealed carry permit.”
    That plus $tens of thousands in legal fees and bribes. I know many shooters here in NJ – not one of them who wasn’t a cop has an NJ carry permit (including Veterans like me).

  14. Comrade Murphy wants you under his big black commie boot.

  15. Amazingly, Murphy’s own budget suggests that his proposal won’t help gun violence go down. “In 2018, roughly 80 percent of guns used in the commission of a crime came from out of state…”

    Virtue signaling of this kind that has the effect of putting people in precarious contact with the usually jittery law enforcement officer already deathly frightened by any firearm not his own is the most insidious form of signaling.

  16. Reason 24/7 lives

  17. Murphy, a Democrat, is renewing his push to strengthen the already-strict guns laws in the state by raising the fees required to buy a firearm by 2,000 percent or more.

    Maybe Phil will push to root out corruption in the state by raising the fees required to run for public office by 2,000 percent or more.

    “There’s no war on responsible gun owners,” the governor claimed
    “And by ‘responsible gun owners,’ I mean those gun owners who go along with my schemes.”

    It is difficult to see what good would come out of Murphy’s proposal.
    Oh, that’s easy. The “good” is continued erosion of your 2A right.

    It is difficult to see what good would come out of Murphy’s proposal.

    1. *** gets coffee ***

  18. Why does Phil Murphy hate black people?

  19. So how exactly is this supoosed to make it more difficult for gangbangers to do drive-bys?

    1. That reminds me, I was walking in Brooklyn with a big stick balanced on my shoulder (because someone had left it there for me to carry [it’s a social media thing.]), when I passed this man yelling, “Where’s my money,” at a lady. Like a proper gentleman, I started a conversation with the lady so she could walk and talk with me until she was a safe distance from the man. To be brief, I had end the conversation a few blocks latter by telling her that I was just being nice and could not afford to be her client.

      But this got me thinking as I continued to my friend’s homeless shelter: Did that cop in prison pimp out the other prisoners? I mean the way they were hooting and hollering as soon as the cop gave them a wink and a nod, I assumed that they expected extra rations from the cop in return for provide the service that the cop wanted to watch on his video monitor. Some cops are into porn that is too kinky by my standards.

  20. This is about money, not taxes. Murphy didn’t get his soak-the-stoners Cannabis Tax so he desperately needs alternative sources of cash that won’t outrage his far-left constituency. The opposition from Coughlin and Sweeney is merely a foreshadow of this year’s version of the annual budget battle.

  21. If we got rid of all the progressives then this kind of shit wouldn’t happen anymore.

    Think about it.

  22. It sucks my state has gone from having pretty good gun laws, to pretty garbage in just a few years… Fortunately I will be moving to a metro that is right on the state line with an awesome state, and won’t have to put up with this shit if they truly cross lines that should not be crossed.

  23. “New Jersey politicians like to enact strict-sounding gun laws, but their effectiveness in actually lowering crime doesn’t seem to matter all that much.”

    That’s because, like all laws enacted by Democrats, they are intended for selective enforcement.

    Consider: if you use your gun to defend yourself from Democrat street clients (Antifa, BLM, MS-13, etc.), your house will be searched. If they find your high-cap mags, they can instantly charge YOU with a felony that you were committing before the clients dropped by. That means you have no claim of self-defense, and any of the cherubs you shot can make you chargeable with murder, along with any bystanders THEY may have shot, including your family.

    That was the intent of that law, and it’s been achieved. See also NY, CA, and CT bans on “assault weapons”. Same logic applies.

    1. “New Jersey politicians like to enact strict-sounding gun laws, but their effectiveness in actually lowering crime doesn’t seem to matter all that much.”

      It’s a big political virtue signal, and has nothing to do with actual “good” but are incremental steps toward any degree of restricting they can hope to attain, because “guns are bad.” Assholes run on this nonsense and their idiotic constituents vote accordingly.

    2. Especially, perhaps only, if you are black.

  24. New Jersey, after all, already has the second-strongest gun laws in the country, after California, according to the Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence.

    Yeah, in Jersey it’s more common for a neighbor to slip Draino into your drink than to shoot you. By the way, my friend is crashing at my place until he can afford his own apartment, because I didn’t have time to commute to Brooklyn every freak’n time I get a 3 am text message about people trying to kill him. Competition for those beds at the homeless shelter can get fierce.

  25. “Well, good luck. It’s largely illegal to open carry a handgun…”

    When did the New Jersey law change? A New Jersey handgun carry permit has allowed for concealed and Open Carry for over 50 years. Prior to the middle of the 1960s, no permit was required to openly carry a handgun in New Jersey.

    Perhaps you were confused by the incoherent cert petition out of New Jersey, Rogers et al v. Grewal et al in which the petitioners extensively argued that states can ban Open Carry in favor of concealed carry even though New Jersey handgun carry permits do not require one to carry a handgun concealed and, as your article mentioned, New Jersey state law does not prohibit the Open Carry of long guns.

    Which is, of course, very similar to the case cited by SCOTUS in District of Columbia v. Heller (Nunn v. State) which held that states cannot ban the Open Carry of handguns even though the Open Carry of long guns is allowed.

    The Heller decision said that the Nunn decision (and “Likewise” Chandler decision) perfectly captured the meaning of the operative clause of the Second Amendment (the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed).

    P.S. Concealed carry is of no use to me. I don’t carry a purse or wear a dress.

  26. […] Phil Murphy of New Jersey renewed his push this week to discourage gun ownership in the garden state. Currently, New Jersey residents need to […]

  27. […] Phil Murphy of New Jersey renewed his push this week to discourage gun ownership in the garden state. Currently, New Jersey residents need to […]

  28. It is too much fees for blacks

  29. […] 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 […]

  30. […] 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 […]

  31. […] 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 […]

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