Opinion: Lakewood Strong – Should You Consider a Pistol? By Zev Kotel

bullets range tlsChris Christie wants to be president really badly. But he first needs to capture the republican nomination. And that means, among other things, that he needs to prove that he is serious about the second amendment. So, the night before he announced his presidential bid, he created the Purchase and Permitting Study Commission so that they could recommend some gun changes in the uber-strict gun state of New Jersey. How random that these two events happened so close to each other…

The commission’s conclusion was, first off, that the current process of obtaining a fire arm is unevenly applied throughout the state (i.e. excessive wait time for a notification of approval or denial). They recommended that the Attorney General issue a directive to local and state police departments to identify a set criterion for the consideration and processing of firearm permit applications.

Next, they want to broaden the current standards for meeting the “justifiable need” requirement to carry. Individuals that can demonstrate an urgent necessity for self-protection, by articulating a serious specific threat that cannot reasonably be avoided, should be able to obtain a carry permit. Currently, although New Jersey is officially a “may-issue” state, the standard is so high that it is effectively a “no-issue” state. The NJ Admin Code (13:54) reads: “…specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun”. In other words, the way it is now, even if approved, that gun is staying home.

Finally, the report seeks to limit criminal consequences of illegally transporting firearms in certain specific cases. Read the report here: http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/reports/pdf/20151221123919328.pdf

What does this mean for the average guy living in Lakewood? Precious little, unless he plans on acquiring a fire arm to protect his home. And even then, at best it might speed up the application process a little bit.

But let’s say he wants a weapon… is it a smart choice to obtain a firearm to protect your home? In recent months there has been a spate of break ins and nothing deters a criminal like a revolver aimed at his head….

(Of course we should discuss the torah’s viewpoint on all of this…maybe a little pilpul on “haba lihargecha…”and “haba bimachteres…” as well as the proper hashkafah regarding owning a weapon, but I will leave that for someone more qualified to speak on the topic…)

So let’s say you make the decision to arm yourself (get a safe!). You need to head down to the police department and apply for a gun permit. Aside from the standard ID, required fingerprinting and cost, you will need to submit names of two witnesses that will testify to your mental health and use of sound judgment. Here is the form: http://www.ewpd.com/firearms/change_address.pdf. You will also need to complete a form allowing the state to perform a mental health background check on you.  Once completed, wait for a response. Legally they must respond within 30 days but in reality it can take much longer than that. In fact, it could take up to a few months to receive a notification. (This was addressed by the commission).

If you are looking to obtain a handgun permit (to carry) that’s a whole new discussion. Suffice it to say that it is not easy at all. And, in my opinion, there is a good reason for that.

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  1. Almost everyone out there with the exception of maybe Rand Paul agrees to all those background checks. The problem is that in NJ you will never get your response in 30 days, as the writer pointed out, is legally required. Kudos to Christie for dealing with this.

  2. Weeks ago I wrote to the Govenor and said the recommendations don’t go far enough. Lakewood is a “soft target” and we need a number of people with conceal carry permits armed in each Shul and school in lakewood. But conceal carry permits are almost impossible to get unless your an ex-police officer. We need to demand change so we have a fighting chance to protect ourselves and our children!
    Remember – when seconds count, police are minutes away…..
    I appreciate Zev bringing this topic up – time for a community discussion on this topic.

  3. Being as Jews are not a violent people, most of the community has never been in so much as an elementary school tussle. You have an obligation to protect your loved ones and let’s be honest, most of the community wouldn’t know the first thing when it comes to self defense. Yakov Avinu recognized that along with tefilla and attempts to placate an enemy one must be prepared for the eventuality of a confrontation. Safety and all necessary precautions are a must, but any foolish ideas that bad things don’t happen in our community are disproved on this website and several other Jewish websites daily. Wake up klal Yisroel we are in galus, do not be lulled into a false sense of security.

  4. to Yonason:
    You are right!; we are probably a very soft target;
    Is there anything at all we can do to get concealed weapons permits?
    I hope Gov. Christy get’s a wind of this..

  5. One thing is for sure. If you are going to apply for a license, make it your business that you train on how to properly fire the thing. Worse than not owning a gun is handling one a break in situation incorrectly.

    And get a safe yesterday.

    I personally don’t believe in the whole gun ownership idea. I think the second amendment had much more relevance back in the day. Nowadays the police are much more effective. Not to say that anyone is 100% secure, but that will never happen. Bottom line, if less guns were on the streets, less would land in the hands of those that use them to kill…a bottle of pepper spray I think is the safer option

  6. @get a gun did you get approved for a carry permit or a gun purchase permit. A carry permit is a lot harder, and concealed carry is virtually impossible.

  7. I applied 20December and have a fingerprint appt Wednesday
    The cost of permit is $7.00 plus $2.00 for ea gun you want to purchase
    I intend to go to a shooting range where they teach u the abc’s of how to hold,handle and shoot a gun as well as gun safety as pointed out any household that has a weapon MUST have a safe to store it we are all aware of unfortunate accidental incidents when children got ahold of loaded guns
    Yes it’s unfortunate that the times we live in warrants one to arm himself in order to feel safe
    This can be argued halachically to fall under “vinishmartem nafahosechem MOED”
    Law inforcement will be the first to admit they can’t be everywhere at the right place at the right time and mostly are reactive rather then proactive hence the need to be prepared “al Kol Tzara chas
    Meschturach berev Shabbos oichel beshabbos

  8. “If you are looking to obtain a handgun permit (to carry) that’s a whole new discussion. Suffice it to say that it is not easy at all. And, in my opinion, there is a good reason for that”
    I challenge you what would that good reason be? in most of the USA you get a carry permit in 5 minutes and its proven in those states to lower crime. criminals dont apply for permits to carry the people who do dont commit crimes. Stop regurgitating liberal anti gun talking points if you dont know the basic facts

  9. Do we all agree at least that for some it is undignified.

    That for choshuve menschen it would be?

    And for women it’s a probable sha’aleh of lo Silbash?

  10. #10

    It is almost surely an issur of Lo Silbash

    Note :Did women fight even in Book of Esther ,or against Amalek ?And of course the story of yael?

  11. #12:

    Based on Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim, Chelek Daled, Siman ayin heh:

    Ultimately, Rav Moshe strongly supports women in this case carrying pistols, as this is obviously a case of pikuach nefesh, and it does not make sense to tell women to not travel to unsafe places (especially since every road would qualify as an unsafe place). Rav Moshe further notes that not only should women be allowed to carry guns if they feel it is necessary, but they can do so even if travelling with a man who also has a gun and, of course, they should make sure to receive the necessary training in order to be able to use their guns effectively if need be.

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