Senator Says N.J. Judges, Legislators Should Be Allowed to Carry

New Jersey Sen. Gerry Cardinale's bill would exempt lawmakers and judges from the justifiable need requirement of a specific threat or previous attack to get a carry permit.

In a “may issue” state where practically nobody is granted a concealed carry permit, one lawmaker is introducing a bill that would allow judges and legislators to obtain a permit to carry a handgun, because "they deserve to feel safe."

According to this story from newsworks.org, New Jersey Sen. Gerry Cardinale (R-39) is upset that the current draconian gun laws in the state make it "virtually impossible for a legislator to get a handgun carry permit."

"Do we really need to wait for some nut who is really offended at a vote that we have taken to actually attack a legislator who is unarmed?" Cardinale said in the story.

Cardinale also said judges should be able to have handguns, because they have undergone thorough background checks and deserve to feel safe, no matter how they ruled on court cases, the story says.

“You may agree or disagree with their rulings or their political opinions or other things like that, but you know these people are not going to misuse a handgun if they have a handgun, and sometimes these people are also targets,” he said in the story.

"Why are the politicians and judges more important than regular citizens?"

Currently, to merely purchase and own a handgun in New Jersey, residents must obtain a Firearms Purchaser ID card, which requires fingerprinting, a background check, a mental health records check and two reference letters. This is required to purchase any type of firearm in New Jersey, but only needs to be done once.

Then, for the purchase of a handgun, a resident with an FID card must obtain a Handgun Purchase Permit, which requires another background check, another mental health records check, and two reference letters. Once obtained, the permit is taken to an FFL dealer, who will then run a NICS background check on the individual before they are allowed to finally purchase the handgun. This process must be repeated for every handgun purchase, unless more than one permit is requested at a time. The permits expire after 90 days.

The president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Alexander Roubian, said in a story on NJ.com that he's "dumbfounded and insulted by the senator's logic."

"New Jersey legislators truly operate as a fiefdom," Roubian told NJ.com. "Why are the politicians and judges more important than regular citizens?"

If a resident wishes to apply for a concealed carry permit, they must meet the state’s justifiable need requirement of a specific threat or previous attack, the validity of which is determined by local Chief Law Enforcement Officers.

If the legislation proposed by Cardinale passes, judges and legislators would be exempt from that requirement and would only be required to complete at least eight hours of firearms training, the story says.