What is wrong with this state? The New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral argument today on whether Jersey City’s can limit handgun purchases to one per month. The main argument is really the same as the one advanced with regard to a bill that died a few months ago in the State Senate. That is, restricting gun sales to one per month will cut down on straw buyers who buy the guns for others who will use them to commit criminal activity. While this sounds good, the problem is there is no data to back it up. Let’s break this down.
First, I can hardly think of any cases of straw buyers. Do they exist? Of course. However, I would bet that a study would show you that almost all of illegal guns in NJ are stolen or from out of state and not straw buyers. I know that from my own practice as a criminal defense attorney. Need more proof?
Second, you have to apply for a permit in your town and the police will be able to quickly figure out how many permits you applied for. So, this straw buyer would find it quite difficult to stay anonymous. This buyer would then have to report all of these guns missing. Wouldn’t that be a little odd that someone would buy many handguns in a short amount of time and then have them all stolen? Or the buyer could not report them stolen only for the guns to turn up in a crime. Then, the police would have a lot of questions for the buyer with the first one being, why didn’t you report that one stolen? The next one would be, where are the rest? Oh, they are all stolen too and you didn’t report that either? As you can see, this would be very, very tough to pull off. I hope someone makes this argument.
Third, as anyone who has tried to buy a gun knows, it is almost impossible to buy one gun in the first place. If you can buy more than a few guns in a year, please give me your secret.
My biggest problem with this straw buyer garbage has little to actually do with gun rights. Instead, it is that this is just a BS argument with nothing to support it but no one out there has the smarts or the guts to counter this argument. I think the Court will say that Jersey City cannot do this as it is a State issue. However, if the State does it, I’m afraid that the Court would uphold it.
Story is here.