New Jersey Governor Wants to Tax Poor People’s Right to Self-Defense

According to a New York Times report, Governor Phil Murphy wants to significantly increase the tax on gun ownership in New Jersey.

New Jersey’s firearm ID currently costs $5, while a permit to own and carry a gun costs $2 and $20 respectively.

Governor Murphy, however, wants to raise those fees to $100 for the ID, $50 to own a firearm, and $400 just to carry a firearm.

And that’s not all.

Murphy wants to tax ammo by 10 percent and guns by 2.5 percent.

These proposals are included in the state budget which has to be passed on the deadline of June 30.

Like universal background checks, these new fees would disproportionately punish the poor and minorities.

John Lott has noted this in his book The War on Guns:

There are real costs of expanding background checks to private transfers. In particular, the fees on private transfers reduce gun ownership, particularly among law-abiding poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas and who benefit the most from protecting themselves; they will be the ones most likely priced out of owning guns for protection.

The New Jersey Governor asserts that he is not waging a “war on responsible gun owners.”

Instead, Murphy says that the funds raised from this gun tax would go towards “anti-violence” programs.

Murphy concluded, “We can support the efforts of the attorney general, state troopers, county and local law enforcement, to do the stuff we need to do: track crime, track gun violence, combat trafficking of illegal guns.”

Cody McLaughlin, the spokesman for the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, pushed back, saying that “This is clear bullying of law-abiding gun owners in the state.”

McLaughlin added, “You’re talking about sportsmen that are already paying hundreds of dollars a year in license fees.”

Lisa Caso, owner of Caso’s Gun-A-Rama in Jersey City, stated that “It’s [gun tax} going to affect gun shops tremendously” and will “deter a lot of people from buying permits. In our business, you have people coming in who barely have money to buy the most modestly priced guns, which are around $300.”

In the meantime, Caso alleges that she has heard rumors about people scrambling to buy gun permits “ahead of the potentially higher fees.”

New Jersey is one of the most anti-gun states in America, with Guns & Ammo magazine ranking it in 50th place in 2018.

Since the Parkland shooting, New Jersey has embraced a wide array of gun control measures, which notably included a 3D printable gun ban.

Should these taxes pass, New Jersey will only cement its status as one of the least friendly states for gun owners in America.

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