New Jersey’s Democrat Governor, Phil Murphy, was forced to roll back restrictions on gun purchases after the DHS deemed gun shops “essential” businesses.
Murphy: “I Respect the Second Amendment”
Gun shops in New Jersey had been closed down during the coronavirus outbreak by Murphy, who prevented them from running the necessary background checks needed to lawfully sell firearms. The shops were forced to close on March 21st after Murphy did not include them in his executive order listing them as “essential,” which would allow them to remain open for business.
Murphy, along with Col. Patrick J. Callahan, the superintendent of the New Jersey police, were named in a lawsuit filed in a federal court by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society and the Legend Firearms shop that contested the order as a violation of the Second Amendment.
“The exigencies surrounding this viral pandemic both justify and necessitate changes in the manner in which people live their lives and conduct their daily business,” the lawsuit reads. “However, this emergency (like any other emergency) has its constitutional limits. It would not justify a prior restraint on speech, nor a suspension of the right to vote. Just the same, it does not justify a ban on obtaining guns and ammunition.”
“I respect the Second Amendment,” Murphy told Alexander Roubian, the head of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, at a press conference last week. “I have gotten not one complaint from anybody that they were trying to buy a gun and they couldn’t.”
New Jersey Has Rolled Back Its Gun Purchase Ban, But There Are Still More Out There
However, the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday updated the list of federally-recommended “essential critical infrastructure,” and this time, gun shops were included, forcing Murphy to roll back on his original gun purchase ban.
“It wouldn’t be my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level and I didn’t get a vote on that,” Murphy said at his daily coronavirus press conference on Monday.
While most Governors didn’t use this pandemic as an excuse to crack down on the Second Amendment in the first place, there are still some areas in the country where the authorities are abusing their power to violate the consitutional rights of citizens. Alex Villaneuza, the Sheriff of Los Angeles, has decided that he will interpret DHS guidance and executive orders as he sees fit, meaning that gun stores in LA can only currently sell to law enforcement and certified security guards.
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This pandemic is serious, but we must all be vigilant, and not let those in charge exploit it for their own agenda. If there are restrictions in place on gun purchases where you live, do everything you can to make the police, or local or state government change their minds.
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