Garden State gun owners fight back against fallacious, anti-gun regime that describes self-protection as useless and handguns as too dangerous for law-abiding Americans to operate.
“Everyone in New Jersey is working together to deal with the governor, the attorney general and the predominately democratic legislature who seems hellbent on taking our Second Amendment rights away, incrementally,” said Mark P. Cheeseman, freelance gun rights advocate and co-plaintiff in an active New Jersey Supreme Court action that seeks to overturn the “urgent necessity” threshold needed to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in the state.
“It’s all about gun control,” said the New Jersey native. “The state legislature and the governor believe they are ahead of the curb on gun ‘violence’ but what it really is, it’s gun control.” Since Gov. Philip D. Murphy took office in January 2018, he said firearm laws have gotten worse. “The Second Amendment is the one right that is being attacked the most.”
On June 7, 2018, just six months into Murphy’s governorship, Cheeseman said the New Jersey Legislature passed their version of Extreme Risk Protection, also known as Red Flag laws, that permit gun confiscation based on a presumed potential to commit a crime, instead of actually committing a crime. “They also passed the 10-round magazine ban that day and they re-codified the justifiable need statute to make it impossible to get a carry permit.” Redundant mental health restrictions were enacted too, he added.
“If you seek mental health, from a marriage counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist; if you mention you have a firearm, that person has a lawful obligation to notify authorities,” said the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs member. “Authorities will come to your home and confiscate your weapons without due process.”
Furthermore, Cheeseman said there is a concerted effort by anti-gun politicians to deny New Jerseyans access to handguns. Here is the onerous, legal process: “If you are 18 you can apply for a firearms ID card at your local police station. You’re going to go through a criminal history background check, a mental health history background check and you will have to provide two references.” A detective will review the application and sometime between 30 to 90 days, he said a Firearm Purchaser’s ID Card should be issued. The FID card allows one to possess a shotgun, rifle, black powder rifle, or BB gun in the home only. Handguns do not apply.
“To apply for a conceal carry permit; you have to be 21 years of age, possess an FID card, you will be finger printed again, and you have to go through another criminal history and mental health background check,” said Cheeseman, who is a National Rifle Association member. “You will need three references, documentation that proves you have safe handling and accuracy training with a firearm, and you have to show an urgent necessity for self-protection.”
In the urgent necessity letter, he said you must provide evidence (with police reports) of the following: A justifiable need, an urgent necessity, and a special danger of a specific threat. “If you only have one of the three, you’re not going to get your permit — you need to have all three.” In fact, he said even those who pass all three, are denied.
After all documents have been filed and notarized in triplicate, he said in about 45 days, a detective will turn over the application to the police chief. “Usually the chief of police will deny your carry permit.” And, even if you are approved, Cheeseman said a judge has the final decision.
“You will be heard in criminal court,” he continued. “There will be a prosecutor there waiting for you and the prosecutor’s job is to make sure you don’t get a carry permit.” Gloucester County denied Cheeseman’s application for a permit to carry a handgun and in 2017 the New Jersey Appeals Court denied his appeal. “Currently, we are waiting for a review by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”
In the Cheeseman-Jillard v. NJ action, plaintiffs argue that New Jersey law permits applications to be determined on a case-by-case basis in violation of federal law. In the 2008 DC v. Heller decision, the United States Supreme Court rejected case-by-case determination of Second Amendment rights, and in the 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago case, SCOTUS agreed stating: “A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all.”
“Ultimately, our answer to getting carry back in New Jersey is going to be the Supreme Court,” said Cheeseman. “We have to go that far, I intend on going that far, my co-plaintiff intends on going that far.” For more information regarding the Cheeseman-Jillard v. NJ action, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/restore-carry-nj.
Link below to watch full interview.
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