New Jersey Gov. Murphy Uses COVID for Cover to Raise Gun Fees and Taxes

New Jersey Gov. Murphy Uses COVID for Cover to Raise Gun Fees and Taxes


Phil Murphy

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

By Larry Keane

As the saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is taking the mantra to a brand new stage by proposing “stronger gun control” within the Garden State. This time, he’s utilizing the COVID-19 pandemic to boost taxes on law-abiding gun house owners and people wishing to train their Second Amendment rights.

Gov. Murphy has tried his greatest in the course of the disaster to penalize lawful gun house owners, however now it will likely be as much as the state legislature to approve or reject his new antigun proposals. New Jersey residents shouldn’t maintain their breath as antigun Democrats management each chambers by huge margins.

Gun Control for You is Nothing New

More gun management has been a pillar for Gov. Murphy since he took workplace in 2018. In his first two years in workplace, he pushed for and signed into legislation 10 more-stringent gun management legal guidelines in a state already identified for having among the strictest gun legal guidelines within the nation. In 2020, the spreading coronavirus pandemic gave him a possibility to do much more, and he didn’t delay.

Nearly 5 million Americans grew to become so involved for his or her security and that of their family members and property that bought a firearm for the primary time. The causes have been throughout us. Reports of native legislation enforcement turning into stretched skinny, criminals being released from jails and rapidly committing violent crimes once more, and now extra lately violent riots and looting in cities and cries of “defund the police” have became greater.

Gov. Murphy, who now desires to levy extra charges and taxes to shut the COVID funds gaps, actively labored to maintain gun consumers out of shops. He shut down firearm retailers and related companies, deeming them “non-essential” at a time after they have been most important. He confronted rapid backlash and lawsuits, main him to backtrack and permit retailers to open once more. Gov. Murphy tried explaining his reasoning, stating “I wasn’t thinking about the Bill of Rights.”

Raising Taxes as Means for More Gun Control

New Jersey is already referred to as a high-taxed blue state working within the purple. Now, to handle subsequent 12 months’s funds shortfall and seeing a possibility to additional squelch the Second Amendment, Gov. Murphy proposed huge taxes and charges on firearms and ammunition such that he’d value out hundreds of law-abiding residents from exercising their God-given rights enshrined and guarded by the Second Amendment.

Murphy’s funds proposal makes an attempt to shut a $5.6 billion – with a “B” – gap within the Garden State by mountaineering taxes and charges on firearm providers and companies which may generate $6 million. That quantities to at least one tenth of 1 %. It’s antigun window dressing and the governor is aware of it.

Gov. Murphy’s proposed antigun will increase embody elevating the handgun buying allow payment $2,400 % from $2 to $50; the price of a firearm ID card by 1,900 % from $5 to $100; the value of a handgun carry allow 7,900 % from $50 to $400; the payment for a gun retail supplier license by 9,900 % from $50 to $500; and the payment for a firearm maker 900 % from $150 to $1,500. There are, or course, further payment will increase as effectively.

If all of it sounds acquainted, it’s.  Gov. Murphy tried and failed at this scheme earlier than. This time, although, he’s tying it to a pandemic.

With extra New Jersey handgun purposes submitted up to now in 2020 than in 2018 and 2019 mixed, it’s no surprise law-abiding firearm house owners, in addition to these contemplating buying a gun for the first time, really feel threatened. In making an attempt to influence the Democratic-controlled New Jersey legislature to approve his funds, Gov. Murphy assured elected officers these are “judiciously” thought-about hikes which might be wanted. In different phrases, be grateful the punishment doesn’t go additional.

Antigun Birds of a Feather

Gov. Murphy isn’t alone in utilizing the pandemic to infringe on the constitutional rights of lawful Americans. Gov. Murphy’s northern neighbor, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, behaved similarly as did New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. These three governors have one thing else in widespread. They all pressured gun shops to shut in the course of the pandemic regardless of the Department of Homeland Security saying gun shops are important enterprise.

So far this 12 months greater than 5 million Americans felt so compelled to guard themselves and their households that for the primary time they exercised their Second Amendment rights and bought a firearm. Thousands are from states with these governors on the high.

Punishing those that train their rights is abhorrent. Using it as an excuse to cowl for poor management throughout a well being disaster shouldn’t be the type of habits residents ought to anticipate from their governors.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


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