appealing to the Supreme Court for relief. I hope the Supreme Court will take up the case, as it is pretty clear that the Constitutional rights of the citizens of New Jersey are being infringed, in a big way. We'll find out if the court will hear the case in the next two to three months.
Last night I was thinking about what would happen if NJ gun laws applied to cars. After all, the second amendment affirms our right to bear arms, but there's no right to drive, so it would be perfectly legal and just as reasonable for the NJ state legislature to apply the same principles to cars, and then some. I'd like to include references to the NJ gun laws, but of course, the laws are arranged in such a manner that they can't be linked to, only the whole criminal code. So you'll have to look through a bunch of stuff or search piecemeal for non-authoritative descriptions of the laws.
As you read these, I'd like you to think about three things. First off, realize that this is a Constitutional Right (the right to keep and bear arms as defined by the second amendment) that we're talking about. Imagine another right, like voting, or practicing free speech or religion, being subject to such laws.
Secondly, note that none of these laws has anything to do with using the car for something illegal (like robbing a bank). They apply to all honest, law abiding citizens who merely want to use a car in a safe, legal manner.
Lastly, violating these laws is a felony, and for most, not just a felony, but a serious felony with a mandatory 10 year prison sentence (judge or jury has no ability to reduce the sentence), and no possibility of parole for 7 years. In other words, a perfectly good person (who passed criminal and mental health background checks) can find himself in prison, losing his job, family, and a good part of his life by doing something as simple as stopping at a gas station to get gas on the way home from the gun store with a legally owned, safe, unloaded, locked up gun in the locked trunk of the car.
So, if NJ gun laws applied to cars...
- Car are illegal to possess, period. The only exceptions would be in your garage, driving to or from the dealership or a repair facility, or to and from a test track. On these trips, no unnecessary deviations or stops are permitted. If stopped, you are presumed guilty. It it up to you to prove, in court, that you fulfilled the requirements for one of the exceptions mentioned.
- In order to get a license to drive a car (any other place except the dealership or test track) the potential driver must apply at his local police station and demonstrate "justifiable need." This means an immediate, urgent need to drive to prevent serious injury or death. He must show that there is no alternative to driving. If this case is successfully made to the local police, the potential driver must appear before a judge and make the case again. Due to the high barriers involved, almost nobody can get a driver's license, including emergency workers and retired police. Over 99.9% of citizens are forced to live within the "exceptions" noted above.
- Each person who drives must have his own car. In order for someone else to drive your car, you must be sitting in the front passenger seat.
- "High capacity" gas tanks are outlawed. Legal gas tanks must hold ten gallons or less.
- When not in use, the car must be stored in a locked garage with the tank empty. Fuel must be stored in a separate locked tank in a different part of your home. (Yes, I know these apply to a gun in transport, but a car can't be locked up during transport - the analogy is that the car is locked up when not "being used").
- "Assault" military cars, such as all Jeeps, Hummers, Ford Mustang, Ford Expedition, Dodge Viper, Dodge Challenger, Chevy Suburban, Toyota Corolla, motorcycles, and a host of other scary intimidating vehicles are banned by name.
- Cars may not have any of the following "evil" features: dual exhaust pipes, "hemi" style carburetor, "mag" or oversized wheels, chromed or stylized hub caps, spoilers.
- In addition, cars are limited to no more than two of the following features: "high capacity" engine (more than 100 HP), automatic transmission,"high capacity" seating (more than 3 people), GPS, satellite radio, ABS, courtesy lights.
- No one can work on the engine of a car without a license to manufacture.
- In order to go anywhere in a car, a driver has to fill out a form and submit it, in person, at his local police station, along with approximately $57. He must be fingerprinted and undergo mental health and background checks. If all goes well, in 30 days he will be issued an "Automobile ID" (AID) card.
- In order to purchase a car, a potential owner has to have and AID card, and fill out a form and submit it, in person, at his local police station along with $60. He must be fingerprinted, and undergo mental health and background checks. If everything goes well, in 30 days he will be issues a "permission to purchase" card good for 90 days.
- The federal "COPA" (Car Owner Protection Act) serves to allow out of state drivers to pass through New Jersey legally, but the state claims the right to a warrant-less stop and search of out of state vehicles if it believes your car might violate NJ law, and will prosecute for violations of NJ state automobile law anyway, even if your car is legal in the state where you are coming from and going to.
If this upsets you, write your representatives about it, or consider joining an organization that supports your second amendment rights in New Jersey, like the New Jersey Second Amendment Society or the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, or a national organization like the Second Amendment Foundation or the National Rifle Association.