Opinion by Alexander Roubian, NJ2AS
New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- Regardless of what anyone thinks about the Second Amendment, we should all agree that the job of law enforcement is to uphold and enforce the law. Many law enforcement officers do just that. Some, like Jackson Township Chief of Police Matthew Kunz, have decided to place their personal feelings and agenda above the law and the Constitution.
Our citizen advocates have alerted us that Chief Kunz is arbitrarily requiring firearm applicants to submit their fingerprints for a handgun permit if it has been more than two years since they last provided them. Chief Kunz is brazenly not following New Jersey state law, administration code and guidelines and undermining the Second Amendment freedoms of the people he exists to serve and protect. And we are going to hold him accountable.
On May 21, the New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) filed a formal complaint to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and the New Jersey Attorney General's office, urging them to investigate the Jackson Township Police Department for violating state law and take action. You can read the complaint to the NJ Attorney General by clicking here, and click here to read the complaint to the Ocean County Prosecutor. It is intolerable for law enforcement to break the law and we need your help to hold Mr. Kunz accountable.
New Jersey law (NJ Statutes Annotated 2C:58-3, NJ Administrative Code 13:54-1.4 or in the New Jersey State Police Firearms Applicant Investigation Guide) is clear about the process for obtaining a firearms identification card and handgun permit. You can read a complete summary here, but the basic process is:
- Fill out the STS-33 application,
- Consent to a mental health background check,
- Provide two references, and
- Submit fingerprints once.
In fact, the law includes clauses specifying that applicants “need not be fingerprinted again” and “no additional requirements” shall be imposed. We clearly spelled out the law and rules in our complaints, something Chief Kunz swore he would uphold.
For some Jackson Township residents, being forced to undergo additional fingerprinting may just be the latest outrage of exercising their Second Amendment rights in the state of New Jersey. But for others the additional requirement may be a life-and-death delay on their ability to protect themselves.
Low-income residents may not be able to afford the $52+ average fingerprinting cost. Others may not be able to take time off work to make a fingerprinting appointment. But hey, as one of the highest paid Chiefs in New Jersey, with a salary of over $200,000, that is pocket change for Chief Kunz.
Regardless of how much of a burden it imposes, Jackson Township’s requirement is simply not required and added to deter people from exercising their constitutional right. If Chief Kunz merely required applicants to touch their nose in order to obtain a permit, it would be illegal.
Sadly, Chief Kunz is the latest in a long line of New Jersey bureaucrats who think they are above the law and who are limiting the constitutional rights of their citizens to obtain a firearm and defend themselves.
And we are going to hold him accountable. Will you help us?
Want to go even further and stand up to bureaucrats like Chief Kunz? Join the New Jersey Second Amendment Society by clicking here and count yourself among thousands of patriots across the state. New Jersey bureaucrats can try to bully us, but we have strength in numbers. Please join today and help us expose the bullies and hold them accountable.
About the New Jersey Second Amendment Society:
New Jersey Second Amendment Society – Our mission is to promote the free exercise of Second Amendment rights within the community and Legislature of New Jersey, to educate the community regarding the enjoyable, safe, and responsible use of firearms, and to engender a sense of camaraderie and fellowship among the members and their families. Visit: www.nj2as.org