Victim Disarmed by New Jersey Judges

By Rob Morse

Slow Facts
Slow Facts

California – -(  Carol Bowne died defenseless.  She had been threatened by her ex boyfriend.  Her ex-boyfriend killed her. She did what she could do to protect herself in New Jersey.  New Jersey judges kept her defenseless.  How did disarming Carol Bowne keep us safer?

Carol Bowne applied for a firearm purchase permit, the first step in buying a firearm for self-defense.  It takes an honorable citizen like Carol up to nine months to buy a handgun.  Thugs do it in an hour as they buy an illegal gun off the street.

The thugs are not the only ones who ignore New Jersey laws.  State law requires authorities to reply to petitioners seeking a firearms permit within 30 days.  Ms Bowne called the police and asked about her Firearms Purchase Identification Card after waiting 41 days.  They said she had to wait.  She was murdered two days later on day 43.  Carol Bowne bled to death in minutes.  She died on her driveway suffering from multiple knife wounds.  Other states grant firearms permits in minutes through the national instant background check system.  (NICS).  Not New Jersey.

New Jersey gun owners report that state authorities deliberately slow the permit process to inhibit the lawful possession of firearms.  Breaking the law costs the cops and judges nothing.  It cost Carol Bowne everything.

The man who stalked and murdered Carol Bowne was a convicted felon.  He had additional charges of battery and armed kidnapping against another woman.  The police knew Carol’s murderer and his police record.. and yet they denied Carol Bowne a firearm purchase permit so she could defend herself.  That is not reasonable firearms regulation; that is infringement on the human right of self-defense.  Carol’s death cost the police officers and judges nothing.

If she’d lived, Carol might have received her permit to own a firearm for self-defense.. someday.  She could then buy a gun and carry it at home.  Even then, Carol would not have been safe.. from the police.  Police in New Jersey often arrest citizens who carry a firearm on their own property.  Police arrest law abiding citizens today and let them fight New Jersey gun laws before a judge tomorrow.  That infringement costs the police nothing because citizens are not protected in court by Jersey judges.  Being a New Jersey gun owner is the new driving while black.

It gets worse.  Suppose Carol had lived long enough to legally purchase a firearm of her own. Suppose she wanted a safer place to live, say, for example, with you.  By law, she couldn’t bring her firearm to your home as she hid from her stalker.  That is not reasonable regulation of gun ownership; that is infringement on the right of self-defense.

Carol Bowne’s neighbors are not allowed to come to her aid under New Jersey law.  You read that correctly.  Suppose Carol had seen a prowler outside her house and called you for help.  You could not drive over and bring your legally owned firearm to her house.  New Jersey law disarms you both.

Suppose you were already with Carol at her house when the stalker attacked.  You could be charged with a felony if you used Carol’s gun to stop the attacker.  You could be charged with illegal use of hollow point ammunition if you used the same cartridges the police recommend for self-defense.  The penalty is five years per shot.. all because you did not have a piece of state issued paper in your wallet.  That is not reasonable regulation of firearms; that is infringement on the right of self-defense.

Carol would have been disarmed by New Jersey law as she traveled to and from work.  She would have been disarmed as she traveled to and from the grocery store.  Having a loaded firearm within reach as you drive requires a permit to carry a handgun.  Carol wasn’t a politician or judge, so she couldn’t get a carry permit in New Jersey.  That is not reasonable regulation.  That infringement costs lives.

It takes up to nine months to receive a firearm purchase card, and Carol Bowne’s stalker knew where she lived.  Carol would have had to start the permit process over from the beginning if she’d moved to a new residence for her safety.  She would have had to re-apply for a permit if her paper card had gotten wet.  That is not reasonable regulation; that is an infringement on her right of self-defense.  It cost Carol her life.

Judges routinely defend the rights of accused criminals.  Judges are also supposed protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.  Not in New Jersey.  There is no right of self-defense in New Jersey, and Carol is simply another statistic.  New Jersey judges give honest citizen the options of leaving the state or renting a personal bodyguard for protection.  This is not reasonable regulation of the right to bear arms; this is infringement on the human right of self-defense.

Can it get any clearer?  Count the dead victims who wanted to protect themselves.  When people die defenseless because of a judge’s ruling, then the judge’s ruling is not reasonable regulation.  The judge’s decisions are lethal infringements on the human right of self-defense.

How did disarming Carol Bowne keep us safer?  How many more innocent and honorable citizens will die as New Jersey’s judges take their toll?

About Rob Morse: By day, Rob Morse works as a mild mannered engineer for a Southern California defense contractor. By night he writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily and on his SlowFacts blog.   He is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

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Hi, I totally agree with what FionnMacCumhail said. It did happen to me in Kearny. My very first permit I got was signed by Chief of Police on 8/30/13 but I got a notification to pick it up via mail by 9/15. The only time to pick it up is by making AN APPOINTMENT on given days of Wednesday or Thursday during hours of 12-3 or 7-8pm. I stopped by the station the following Wednesday, 9/18 just to find out that the only officer that takes care of firearms permitting is out on VACATION and won’t be back by 10/2.… Read more »


One clarification. The NJ statute says a purchaser’s permit must be issued within 30 days absent a disqualifying reason. But in the late nineties, NJ judges ruled that that wasn’t a real deadline. They reasoned that guns are dangerous, so the legislature couldn’t have intended that the permit be issued before the police finished their investigation. And since then NJ police departments have been able to disregard the deadline – and waiting time have gotten longer and longer. And one more wrinkle. NJ Handgun Purchaser’s Permits expire after 90 days. It’s been known to happen that the local police chief… Read more »