USA Today reports that a growing number of cities, counties, and states from New York to California are moving swiftly to limit residents’ movements amid the spread of the coronavirus. Almost a third of Americans, nearly 100 million people, have been ordered to stay home during the last two weeks. That means businesses everywhere are forced to close up shop.
Federal guidelines give local and state authorities a good bit of latitude to determine what is an “essential” business during a time of emergency. According to USA Today, “In general such orders include grocery stores and food production, pharmacies, health care, utilities, shipping, banking, other governmental services, law enforcement, emergency services and news outlets.”
New Jersey, with the second toughest gun laws in the nation, has added to its list of enforced shutdowns, all firearm and ammunition stores. Governor Phil Murphy says that even though there are food shortages (from panic buying, not supply chain issues) and millions of people have lost their jobs (and therefore their ability to buy necessary items) that New Jersey residents shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns and ammo to protect themselves or gives themselves piece of mind.
Following Governor Murphy’s shutdown of all non-essential businesses, the state’s police shut down the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) system. In the state of New Jersey, all firearms sales must be processed through a federal firearms license form (FFL) including private sales. By taking the state’s form offline, Governor Murphy has halted gun sales indefinitely.
A look at New Jersey’s NICS Online page displays this:
On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is putting New Jersey in lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. Per Executive Order 107, he is ordering the residents of New Jersey to stay home, directing all non-essential retail businesses closed to the public. At this time, the order includes New Jersey Firearms State Licensed Dealers. The New Jersey State Police NICS Unit is directing the vendor of the NICS Online Application (NICUSA) to turn off the NICS Online Services for submitting NICS transactions by eliminating the “Request Form” button, effective 9:00pm EST, Saturday, March 21, 2020. You will still have the ability to view the message board and the status of previously submitted transactions. This “Request Form” feature will remain off until further order by Governor Murphy.
Murphy, a Democrat, who succeeded Republican Gov. Chris Christie, has made gun control a focus. Considering New Jersey already had some of the toughest gun restrictions in the land, Murphy has done everything he can to eliminate gun and ammunition sales in his state.
Some of the gun laws in effect already before the ‘shelter in place’ order include:
- Handgun restrictions – Current and former law enforcement officials are allowed to carry a handgun, but most other NJ residents are not. To carry a weapon, you must prove a “justifiable need” which is rarely approved by a judge.
- Firearm purchaser ID card – a state firearm purchaser ID card is required to buy a shotgun or rifle. Handguns require a separate permit from the local police chief or State Police superintendent.
- Guns in Vehicles: Guns can only be transported within the state only if they are unloaded and secured in a fastened case that is not accessible to the driver or passengers — such as the trunk.
With moves like this, one has to wonder where will it stop?
Democrats always promise they aren’t coming for our guns, they just want to keep them out of the hands of criminals. But every time a crisis or natural disaster hits (Hurricane Katrina for example) they use the event to cut off access to the very thing we need to keep ourselves and our families safe. This is yet another example proving they can’t be trusted when it comes to the Second Amendment.