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List of who can carry in Jersey expands, but don’t hold your breath

gun with bullets on steel

The extremely short list of people who can carry a gun in New Jersey just got a little bit longer. Key word little. Governor Christie signed into law legislation that gives practically anyone who ever wore a badge the right to carry a firearm after retirement. According to, until now it’s been mostly state and local police officers, along with county sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers and the like.


Add to the list special agents of the Division of Taxation, Department of Human Services, NJ Transit, housing authority police, parole officers, etc.. Basically any one who was technically law enforcement who ever wore a badge.

State Sen. Richard Codey is not a fan. “There’s no solid reason for this. When, during their performances of duty, did they have to use a gun? Rarely, if ever…It just expands the number of people who are out there with guns, and that never ends up to anything good.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, a sponsor of the bill, called that an ignorant statement. “It’s a slap in the face of these well-trained retired officers that belittles their skill, training and dedication.”

I have a problem with the bill. A completely different problem from what Codey has. My issue is not that this law expands the list of who can carry, but that it doesn’t expand it enough. How about anyone who has proven to be a law abiding citizen with no serious mental health issues? Someone who has never committed a crime, is of sound mind, and proves they can handle a gun? When will this state learn that we shouldn’t have to beg the government’s permission to defend ourselves and our families?

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