After Pennsylvania and multiple other states has allowed federally licensed firearms stores to remain open as an essential business, Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths are calling upon Governor Murphy to do the same.
“Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Illinois are allowing gun stores to remain open,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “It is imperative that the New Jersey State Police be allowed to conduct NICS checks and other background checks so our law-abiding residents can choose to acquire tools to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
The Governor on Saturday issued Executive Order 107, which determined which businesses are essential verses non-essential during this emergency. Federally licensed gun stores were not included as essential and the National Instant Check System in New Jersey (NICS) which the State Police operates was shut down. NICS checks in New Jersey are now mandatory for not only sales from a licensed dealer but for most private firearms transactions. And all gun ranges, both private and public, were shut down as well.
“With one stroke of the pen, the constitutional rights of every law abiding New Jerseyan were taken away,” said Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Other businesses are allowed to be open as long as they practice social distancing and minimize the number of employees needed. Gun stores and ranges need to be offered the same opportunity to be open.”
Various organizations and private citizens are preparing suits in federal court including the National Rifle Association, the Association of NJ Rifle and Pistol Clubs, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
“It is completely outrageous that law-abiding citizens are being denied their rights in a time where people may need to exercise their rights for the first time,” said Wirths (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “We all saw the news reports in the past two weeks of people who never purchased a firearm before buying them up; I am sure every anti-Second Amendment politician saw this exercise of freedom and were losing their minds and want to put a stop to it. It is up to us and the citizenry to fight them and the administration and open up the legal means to purchase firearms and ammunition.”