Senator Mike Doherty joined the growing chorus of legislators who are calling for Governor Phil Murphy to reopen gun shops that were closed by executive order.
Sen. Mike Doherty joined the growing chorus of legislators who are calling for Gov. Phil Murphy to reopen gun shops that were closed by executive order. (Flickr)
“In many rural areas that have no local police, people can wait an hour or longer for the State Police to respond to a call for help even in the best of times,” said Doherty (R-23). “What’s going to happen when more police departments, including the State Police, start experiencing real staffing issues due to the coronavirus? In an emergency, families in some of our communities might have to wait hours for a response, which is just too long. Governor Murphy should follow the lead of Governor Wolf in Pennsylvania and allow New Jersey’s gun stores to reopen. His personal dislike of firearms does not diminish the 2nd Amendment rights of New Jerseyans during this crisis.”
Firearms retailers in the Garden State were forced to close after Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107 on March 21, 2020, which ordered the closure of all non-essential retail businesses. The order also resulted in the the NJ NICS system being taken offline to prevent firearms dealers from conducting criminal background checks required by state law.
An explicit list of exceptions included in the executive order allowed certain “essential” retail business to continue operating, including grocery stores, pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries, gas stations, and liquor stores.
That list of “essential” businesses was expanded this week to allow additional retail businesses to operate during the current state of emergency, including cell phone stores, bike repair shops, and garden centers.
“With armed State Troopers at his side, the governor has little to worry about,” Doherty added. “That’s not the reality of many New Jerseyans who must guarantee their own security. Governor Murphy should do the right think and recognize that businesses that help protect many New Jersey families are essential businesses should be allowed to operate.”
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