NJ town pushes back against gun control: ‘Don’t tread on us anymore’
A second New Jersey municipality has declared itself friendly to gun rights-- pushing back against increasingly strict gun control measures under Gov. Phil Murphy's administration.
The New Jersey Herald reports Sussex Borough declared itself in a unanimously passed resolution last week to be "2nd Amendment/Lawful Gun Owner municipality" at the behest of Assemblyman Parker Space, who voted against a so-called "red flag" law that allows the state to temporarily confiscate guns from someone deemed a potential threat.
It stopped short of using the language West Milford took on in a similar resolution earlier this month, declaring itself a "sanctuary" city for the Second Amendment to the Constitution. But both municipalities say in their non-binding resolutions -- which don't have the force of law -- that they support holding violent offenders accountable for their actions.
According to the Herald report, Sussex's resolution says it opposes "irrational and/or disproven attempts to control lawful tools of self-defense, hunting and sport."
The New Jersey municipalities join towns in other states that have passed similar resolutions. Patch.com reports nearly 100 municipalities in Virginia have done so.
“It’s our way of saying, ‘Don’t tread on us anymore,’” the Herald report quotes Space saying.
New Jersey's red flag law went into effect in September. The law allows family members or a law enforcement officer to petition a judge to have guns and ammunition taken away from people deemed to pose a significant danger of injury. The length of the revocation would vary in each instance.
“This meets our mandate, which is to walk the line to protect lawful gun owners under the Second Amendment and at the same time find ways to reduce these incidents of violent crime,” Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden, said at the time.
Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, said earlier this year the law is unconstitutional and that people should call 911 in an emergency, not petition a judge.
“The bill is flatly unconstitutional. It’s an overreach,” Bach said. “Of course nobody wants people to have guns who shouldn’t have them. But there are existing safeguards built into existing law for decades if not longer that protect against that.”
Around one-third of the states now have some version of a red-flag law, with most of those approved over the last 18 months.
-- With previous reporting by Michael Symons
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