U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- I care about American freedom and if you live anywhere in the United States of America, you should be able to enjoy the same rights as your fellow citizens, regardless of what state you call home, regardless of what political party rules your state house and governor’s mansion. Each of us, irrespective of where we reside presumably share the same rights enshrined in our founding documents. Presumably. In reality, we do not. A California resident cannot own the same guns in his/her home state as I can in mine. Someone applying for a right to carry permit in Hawaii has little hope of exercising their right to carry a firearm as his cousin and fellow American citizen applying for the same license in Florida, for example.
Last week on Armed American Radio, I opened the broadcast in the first segment by introducing listeners to five fellow Americans and the plight they face as oppressed residents of New Jersey, a state run by vehement anti-gun, socialists (formerly known as Democrats), who stop at nothing to strip their residents (fellow Americans) of their right to bear arms. If you missed that show, I’m going to introduce you to those good folks right now, and I ask you to put yourself in their place, close your eyes and envision living your life, in an American state, as they must and try to imagine what you would do if walking in their shoes.
Meet Jon Jillard. Jon lives in Gloucester County, New Jersey. After doing prison time for assaulting one of Jon’s immediate family members, the attacker was being released and expected to be living nearby Jon and his family. In 2017 he applied for a New Jersey permit and was denied by a Gloucester County Superior Court judge for “lack of need,” this after even the prosecutor informed the court that Jon did indeed have reason to fear for his life. The prosecutor went as far as saying he wished the NJ laws were different.
Meet Mark Cheeseman. He also lives in Gloucester County, NJ. In 2015 he also applied for a permit to carry a firearm for his protection and was denied twice by local police officials for “lack of need.” Seeking a review in the same court as Jon Jillard, he too was dismissed by the Superior Court for the same reason.
Meet Jay Factor. Jay lives in Monmouth County, New Jersey and applied for a permit to carry in 2006. His permit application, after two years of lingering, was finally denied in 2008. After seeking a review by the Monmouth County Superior Court, his request was subsequently squashed in an unpublished opinion by a County Superior Court judge. He requested an appeal and received the same fate in yet another unpublished decision by the Appellate Division.
Meet George Greco. George lives in New York City but does significant business in both NY and NJ. He is required to carry large sums of cash due to his activity in both states and applied for a permit to carry. His permit application in New Jersey was denied by both police officials and Superior Court for “lack of need.”
Finally, meet Jeffrey Muller. Jeffrey was a kidnapping victim and received a permit to carry afterward. That process though, saw Jeffrey approved by the New Jersey State Police only to be subsequently denied by a Superior Court Judge. Just after joining the Drake v. Filko lawsuit did the judge who rejected his application recuse himself paving the way for another judge to approve his request. For obvious reasons, Mr. Muller is worried about his permit being denied upon its coming renewal date.
All of these stories and more appear in the Amici brief filed by the Second Amendment Foundation seeking Cert by the Supreme Court in the Thomas Rogers v. Girbir Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, case. For someone like me who lives in the (relatively) free state of Georgia, it is incomprehensible to me that my fellow Americans would have to endure this type of harassment and discrimination by law enforcement and our courts merely because they live in another state that refuses to honor their (our) constitutional rights.
As long as God gives me the ability to type into a computer, the air in my lungs to speak and a microphone to talk into, I will continue to pass these stories on to whoever will read them or hear them. Americans must know that while many of us go about our days living in (relative) freedom, many must endure the crushing reality that they are not free. These fellow Americans must also know that they are not abandoned, that we stand with them ready to fight on their behalf in the trenches of this war against freedom currently being waged by Socialists masquerading as the Democrat party.
About Mark Walters
Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)