Updated: Feb 13, 2019
Lately there has been a trend that whenever a terrible shooting happens, there are more laws passed restricting firearms. Some city governments are demanding that residents either register their up until then legal weapons, or turn them in/ destroy them. Not only are these laws open infringements on the rights of law abiding citizens under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, they are also written by incompetent lawmakers and city officials. These laws restrict privacy of private property by requiring citizens to register their weapons to “grandfather them in”. In the case of New Jersey, residents and any unsuspecting wayfarer that happens to be caught in the state while carrying a magazine that is capable of holding over 10 rds is now a felon. Residents were given until Dec 10th 2018 to turn in their up until then legal mags. These magazines are private property that were paid for by the residents, that they are not allowed to possess legally anymore. The problem with this law? Other than in the opinion of the author of this article, that this law is unconstitutional, it also is backed on no solid reasoning (other than to make a few people “feel good”). The main “problem” with this law is that NO ONE IS COMPLYING!
That is right… There are only a handful of residents that have turned in their magazines, with an estimate of over a million gun owners that are still holding onto them. New Jersey has effectively created over one million estimated felons overnight!
Under this law, anyone that possesses a mag that holds more than 10 rounds, off duty police officers included, are in violation of the law and are considered a felon. Anyone caught with a magazine with a capacity of over 10 rounds (most compact handguns carry a standard capacity of 15 rounds. Standard capacity AR-15 magazines hold 30.) in their possession can face up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, or both for each magazine in their possession!
There are multiple concerns with this law. The most pressing is the fact that it restricts the rights of those that were previously law abiding gun owners. I don’t think anyone really thought that criminals would turn in their magazines anyways, so what was this law really trying to accomplish? Another problem of concern is how this law is going to be enforced. As of yet, use of raids seem unlikely, but are not completely ruled out. If magazines are to be taken by force, this could cause a big problem as law enforcement, armed with weapons, would have to take under threat of potentially lethal force these illegal magazines. This could cause potentially heated confrontations that could lead to loss of life. There are also options of traffic stop searches. If someone is being pulled over that is carrying, they could be searched for these magazines. This is also problematic and would be a violation of the right to not be unreasonably searched.
The major point to take away is that gun owners have spoken. They have spoken out of the silent protest of not complying. Firearms rights groups have challenged the law in court and have unfortunately lost for now. There is also a growing number of those that are outspoken in their intention to not comply with any of these unconstitutional laws. http://www.rallyforourrights.com/ is one website that is organizing we will not comply rallies in order to raise awareness in the public. It is my own opinion that New Jersey is a test run. If this law is successful there, it will be adopted by more States. We need more people to stand up, speak out and make your voices heard to your representatives.
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Stay safe, stay informed, and have a great day.