Opinion By John Petrolino
New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- On March 21st, 2020, Governor Murphy of New Jersey declared that gun stores and those servicing (read gun ranges) the firearms industry to be non-essential in Executive Order 107.
The second revision of the Department of Homeland Security's Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers guidelines was released on March 28, 2020, and in the document, firearm retailers were listed as “essential.”
The Murphy administration decided to dig it's heals in on hearing this news, as were Governors from Massachusetts, New York, et.al., with these chief executives kicking and screaming over eventual compliance. Between the guidance from DHS and, lawsuits filed by The New Jersey Second Amendment Society/The Second Amendment Foundation and The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Murphy caved and on March 30th, 2020, and deemed gun shops “Essential”.
The Murphy administration decided to dig it's heals in over hearing this news, as were Governors from Massachusetts, New York, et.al., with these chief executives kicking and screaming over eventual compliance. Between the guidance from DHS and a lawsuit filed by The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Murphy caved and on March 30th, 2020, and deemed gun shops “Essential”.
By the start of September, gun stores, outdoor ranges, as well as indoor shooting ranges, are all open. But multiple lawsuits were needed to force the hand of anti-freedom Murphy and he changed course prior to actual case precedent being established. This is old news, right? You would think so, but it’s not.
Aside from the obvious issue that the Democrat Murphy administration has a flat out disdain for freedom and civil liberties, there is very little to keep this from happening again in the future. Possibly the very near future with a real or imagined reemergence of COVID-19 and the potential civil unrest predicted in upcoming presidential election chaos.
But another elephant in the room needs to be pointed out, and it comes in the form of meddling by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
The Michael Bloomberg financed astroturf group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, the group who recently endorsed Joe Binden for president, was exposed in a released email. Where they were caught calling on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to close gun shops as non-essential. Just days later Governor Murphy had all mom-and-pop gun shops shuttered.
From documents obtained through an AmmoLand News' OPRA request, W160618 Moms Demand Action Phil Murphy 6-25-2020 (embedded below), we get to see another side of the story, perhaps the hidden motivation and or source of inspiration to close down gun stores in New Jersey.
The email is dated Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 10:14 am. Reacting to a NICS screengrab apparently leaked from the West Long Branch NJ. Police department. The writer of the email was Theresa Turner, the New Jersey State Chapter Co-Lead from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America ([email protected]) and the recipient Matthew Platikin ([email protected]), the Chief Counsel to Governor Murphy and the acknowledged “architect of candidate Murphy’s gun ‘safety’ platform.”
The email reads in part:
“I’m writing because as you probably know, there has been a surge in gun sales and ammunition in New Jersey…I’m just wondering if anyone in your office or the AG’s office is concerned about this. Aside from the obvious problems of more guns in our state and the backlog at NICS, it seems that the stores are nonessential and yet are staying open with lines of people inside and out, which could potentially spread the virus.”
Two days later Governor Phil Murphy had all the gun stores in New Jersey closed. The anti-civil liberties organizations of Moms Demand Action, Everytown, and Murphy’s administration were not happy about this new surge in people exercising their constitutional right to self-protection.
No, Ms. Turner, more guns in our state is not an “obvious problem” – how could it be when these are law-abiding citizens that want to protect themselves and respect law and order? The “obvious problem” is the concerted effort between groups that do not respect freedom and civil liberties, and them conspiring with the governments of states like New Jersey. After all, how much money and effort did Moms pump into Murphy’s election?
In another email from Ms. Turner to Mr. Platkin, she expresses a laundry list of rights-killing items she feels needs to be addressed and one of them included the “Second Amendment Sanctuary Movement”:
“We’re thankful that General Grewal issued his statement to county prosecutors about enforcing our state firearms laws in the midst of this movement. Our volunteers are using this as an opportunity to educate the public about the misleading nature of these resolutions, and how NJ gun laws like Red Flag laws keep us safe and save lives.”
Has the leadership at Moms Demand Action and the NJ AG read these so-called “misleading” Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions?
Because if they had, they’d find right in them that in no manner is the resolution to be a reinstatement of law nor serve as an advocate for the breaking of any laws. The resolutions are ways for the people of individual towns/counties to communicate to the state that they do not want any more anti-freedom laws that infringe on civil liberties. The lawmakers in New Jersey are not listening on the State level, how else are citizens supposed to communicate this? That’s what the resolutions say. Are we to believe that the public at large is so dense they cannot read the documents and understand them? (As a sidebar, a great majority of NJ now has jurisdictions with pro 2nd Amendment resolutions).
At first glance, all of this news seems fit to be wrapped around fish, as it is indeed “old news.” Quite true until you start to dig and see who is talking to who and when. These are things everyone needs to keep in the forefront of their minds when new policies are developed and laws enacted. There are the devious people pulling strings and forcing their agenda on these offices. Preferential treatment and main lines of communication between anti-freedom groups like Moms Demand Action and Governor Phil Murphy’s office have been established, and it’s obvious he listens to them. I urge citizens to reach out to the Governor’s office about this and his conspiring with Moms Demand Action, to get his perspective and give him some feedback: (609) 292-6000.
OPRA W160618 Moms Demand Action Phil Murphy New Jersey 6-25-2020
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii