Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NJ considers more infringements

From an NJ.com op-ed:
Now that the Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment protects the individual citizen's right to own handguns, it's time for public officials to start prescribing a new antidote for gun crime: target violent criminals who actually misuse handguns, instead of passing scattershot laws with toxic side-effects like disarming victims, bullying honest gun owners, and demonizing firearms themselves.

Unfortunately, a bill pending in the State Senate and up for committee vote 12/8 (S1774) is a bad dose of old medicine. It's a proposal to ration the Constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to own handguns beyond the existing regulatory thicket, which already slows exercise of those rights to a trickle. It ignores violent behavior and known sources of illegal trafficking, instead restricting only persons investigated and pre-certified as acceptable to own firearms. Even mainstream media recognize the ineffectiveness of this approach.

State handgun permits currently take months to receive, and can be further delayed or denied to anyone unsuitable. Applicants go to their local police, disclose personal and employment information under penalty of perjury, get fingerprinted, consent to criminal and mental health background checks, submit references, pay fees, and then wait, sometimes six months or longer.

Meanwhile, law enforcement conducts a 13-point background investigation. If a permit issues, it must be used within 90 days or the process repeats. A federal background check occurs at purchase, and transaction details are reported to police. If multiple permits are used within 5 days, another report is filed with BATFE.

S1774 criminalizes use of more than one permit per month, no matter how long the applicant waited for them or when they expire. It ignores the background checks and pre-certification, treating honest citizens like criminals and interfering with self defense and property transfer. If a gun recently bought for protection from a stalker or batterer malfunctions or is stolen, it cannot be rapidly replaced when needed most.

Article here. By the way, I believe the "permits" the author refers to in New Jersey are permits to merely purchase a gun.

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