New Jersey could become 5th state to limit monthly handgun buys

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New Jersey could become 5th state to limit monthly handgun buys
2/13/2007, 11:38 a.m. ET
By TOM HESTER Jr.
The Associated Press


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey could become the nation's fifth state and the first in seven years to make it illegal for people to buy more than one handgun per month.

Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, a sponsor of the legislation, represents Jersey City, which like other New Jersey cities has struggled against street gangs and gun violence.

"I personally can see no reason why anyone would want to go out and buy guns in multiples," she said.

Jersey City late last year adopted its own law making it illegal to buy more than one handgun per month, but it was struck down by a judge who ruled it was it pre-empted state authority.

The city's mayor, Jerramiah T. Healy, is among those pushing for the state law.

"This is really a federal plague that requires a federal cure, but I don't think we can stand by idly and sit on our hands," he said.

New Jersey would join South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and California as states that restrict people to buying one handgun per month. California was the last state to adopt such a law, doing so in 1998, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The New Jersey bill was recently released by an Assembly committee and can be considered by the full Assembly. The Senate hasn't considered the legislation, but gun rights groups are moving against it.

Scott L. Bach, president of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs, the National Rifle Association's state organization, said limiting handgun sales to one per month would do nothing to halt crime.

"We do not believe that rationing guns to honest citizens will reduce crime, any more than rationing knives to restaurant-goers will reduce stabbings or rationing matches to fireplace owners reduce arsons," Bach said.

The proposal comes with New Jersey increasingly concerned about gun crimes, particularly from street gangs. Last year, authorities in Newark, Irvington and Camden seized 114 firearms, up from 86 in 2005. Meanwhile, homicides in Newark have jumped from 65 in 2002 to 113 last year, with nonfatal shootings also on the rise.

One-gun-per-month laws have been supported by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which contends they've cut gun trafficking in Virginia and handgun sales in Maryland. New Jersey Assemblyman Peter Barnes, another bill sponsor, said that's key because guns are now the weapon of choice for young people.

"It used to be a knife," the Middlesex County Democrat said. "Now it's a gun, no matter where you go."

But the NRA contends the laws have done nothing to cut crime.

"To stop crime, you've got to stop the criminal, not attack the tool, because the criminal mind will always find another tool," Bach said.

Craig Dear, a gun collector from Woodbury, criticized the proposal, arguing it would make it illegal for a collector to trade three guns for one, for instance.

"The vast majority of guns that collectors collect are not new guns," he said.

But Barnes, recently nominated by Gov. Jon S. Corzine to become state parole board chairman, said something must be done to stop guns that are "just proliferating in American cities" and predicted public support.

"My Irish intuition would tell me that it would be a resounding vote in favor of limiting the number of guns that people can purchase," he said. "The average person living in the state of New Jersey and possibly the United States of America would say one a month is enough."


The city's mayor, Jerramiah T. Healy, is among those pushing for the state law.
This takes the attention off of his trial for Drunk and Disorderly being held last week. What A Guy !!!
 

hminsky

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The people committing these crimes use sneakers. Would a one-pair-of-shoes a month law help to cut the violent crime? I wonder?
 

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dwarven1

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"The average person living in the state of New Jersey and possibly the United States of America would say one a month is enough."
Horsehockey. The only reason my buddy in NJ doesn't buy more guns is that he's on disability and doesn't have the money - it has nothing to do with anything else.

Unfortunately, Mike tells me that it's a given that Corzine will sign it - it made it out of committee unanimously Monday. [angry]
 
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One of the biggest reasons that many don't purchase more is that there isn't any ranges, indoor or out to use them. Many have closed down due to the increase in the building within the past few years. Even a few indoor ranges in the northern part of the state have closed for economic reasons.
 
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In the northern end of NJ, three indoor and one outdoor ranges haveclosed within the last three years. If you live anywhere from the NY/NJ border down to the middle of the state, you have a total of one private outdoor range and two indoor pistol ranges. Unless you just want to look at whatever you buy, you have to travel an hour plus to use it.

A friend works at a local indoor range I use when I'm down in th earea. They have had a M1A for sale for a year. The reason no one wants it is because they can't use it. All of the indoor ranges will not allow magnum loads due to the backstop limits. And the sutuation isn't getting any better. The one decent outdoor facility is under pressure due to the housing market closing in to their limited property.
 
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dwarven1

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In the northern end of NJ, three indoor and one outdoor ranges haveclosed within the last three years. If you live anywhere from the NY/NJ border down to the middle of the state, you have a total of one private outdoor range and two indoor pistol ranges. Unless you just want to look at whatever you buy, you have to travel an hour plus to use it.
RScalzo, which ranges have closed? Just wondering.

I used to shoot at Ray's Sport Shop in Scotch Plains, Hudson County Pistol Range in Hoboken, an indoor range on RT 46 (in Saddle Brook, maybe? I forget), and an outdoor range up on a hill in West Milford - that was a nice place. You could shoot at almost anything, IIRC.
 
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Hudson County Pistol and Paterson Rod & Gun in Saddle Brook are gone. Ray's is up for sale for the past two plus years. Ray himself is retiring and his son-in-law Dwight has had enough of the business and wants out. Can't blame him. It gave him a heart attack a few years back.

Meadowlands Pistol Club closed about two years back due to a park being built in the site. Sad to see that go. I helped built it back in the early 60's and was taught to shoot on a police rifle club.

Cherry Ridge in West Milford is being built around and has had pressure put on them. Great club but due to the fact they are the only one within 60 or so miles it is getting very crowded.

The range in Garfield closed years back and the one on Route 46 in Lodi (Targeteers closed their gunshop and turned the range into a archery only range.

Even the million dollar plus range at the Bergen County Police Academy has had the operation curtailed due to condos being built in the area.

When they closed our police range which was the Meadowland's club, we were left out in the cold. Several department firearm's instructors got together and found some land in a landfill off of the NJ Turnpike. The 12 towns actually built a great combat style range with huge 270 degree berms. We would set up courses of fire not limited to a standard berm setup. Down side is that being outdoors in the meadows, it is windy and cold. Even with all of that, in a few years they will be taking it over to build a golf course and country club.

Even many of the gun shops have packed it in. Only so much business around selling firearms. One large chain left years ago. Edleman's had two sites in NJ and one in NY. They eventuall bought Kimber when it was nothing and turned the company around. At least one success story there.
 
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dwarven1

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Oh. My. G-d.

Why even own a gun in NJ any more if you can't freakin' SHOOT it?!

Hudson County is gone? [crying] I learned to shoot there with my best friend Mike - I have a LOT of memories of that range. Mike and another friend took me there the week my father died. He handed me his Llama .45 and 4 boxes of reloads and told me to go shoot something. (I had a LOT of anger in me that week... tore the centers out of a bunch of targets.)

Man... I knew I couldn't ever go home again, but that hits hard. I can still picture the range in my mind's eye... I spent a LOT of time there.
 
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Hudson County was sold and the building was renovated into condos...It wasn't much but at least it was a place to shoot. The owner Joe still runs a uniform store that was doing well.

Even buying ammo is getting difficult. You can't walk into a Walmart and pick it up. Nor do the sporting goods stores like Dick's handle it. Guess the paperwork isn't worth the hassle.

you're right in a way. You can buy something but actually using it becomes a major hassle. I keep telling the members of my club how great they have it up here. Sometimes they take it for granted..
 
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It is almost impossible to but more than 1 handgun a month in NJ anyway: you need a purchase permit for each one and that takes weeks to process.
 

drgrant

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It is almost impossible to but more than 1 handgun a month in NJ anyway: you need a purchase permit for each one and that takes weeks to process.
Apparently you can get more than one of them at a time, though, from
what I've heard.

Generally though you are right.... NJ has some of the worst gun laws
in the nation, adding "gun a month" really won't change anything down
there. Having to beg the state for a silly permit each and every
time you want to buy a handgun almost guarantees that most people
won't bother to do it too often.

-Mike
 
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On the permit application for a handgun purchase permit, there is a box stating how many permits you are requesting. Very rarely would anyone request more than one at a time. Once a resident obtained their SBI (State Beu. Identification) number from the state, the permits could be processed fairly quickly by our department. However, firearm's applications wasn't a full time job assignment for the vast majority of the departments so in some cases they were processed as the time permits. Most of the time, as far as FID cards was concerned. the hold up was the failure of the applicant's named references to return the form back to us. Second was the time lag of the prints. Turn around time was usually four to six weeks tops. It did go upright after 9-11 as the state pulled everyone off their assignments and put them out on the street at area facilities.
 

strangenh

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There are more private ranges than that in N NJ. I think rscalzo is talking about the slice along eastern part of the state. Not mentioned is the private range up by Hackettstown (Shongum) for example. That said, some of the people I know in Sussex Co. go west to PA ranges.
 
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