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Investigative Journalist: Here's How Blue States Implemented a ‘De Facto’ Gun Ban on New Residents

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Well, if there is one issue that transcends the blue state-red state divide, it's the protection of one's home and family. Ever since the coronavirus lockdowns, folks have been flocking to gun stores. It got another shot of adrenaline when the George Floyd riots erupted, and it was appallingly clear that the police could not protect law-abiding citizenry or local businesses. Minneapolis burned. New York City descended into mob rule for multiple nights, along with rampant looting, arson, and assault on police officers. In Seattle, armed leftists seized portions of the city. No wonder why June was a massive month for gun sales, 40 percent of which are estimated to be new gun owners.

And yet, in blue states, it should come to no one's surprise that hordes of people are left defenseless. Some might have known about their respective states' anti-gun regime, especially in California and New Jersey, but a lot of folks found out the hard way when they tried to purchase a firearm in the past few weeks. Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon has been on this beat, noting that some California residents have been shocked at how stringent their state's gun laws have become, even mulling running for office to change them. For his latest, he wrote about a US Marine Corps reservist and an investigative journalist, both live in the Golden and Garden States respectively, and noted how they've been left defenseless. The journalist, Jose Pagliery, went so far as to declare that these states have a "de facto" gun ban on new residents (via Free Beacon) [emphasis mine]:

Marine Corps reservist Ben Nordstrom looked to purchase a rifle to defend his new home after moving to California in May. The coronavirus shutdowns of some gun stores in the state proved a minor inconvenience at first, but while stores have reopened, Nordstrom is still without his firearm. State law mandates that weapons can only be legally sold to people with valid California photo IDs. The Marine cannot get one because of coronavirus restrictions in the state. In addition, thanks to a rare restriction on ammunition purchases, California also requires state ID and a background check to purchase ammunition, which means he can't buy ammo for the gun he already owns.  

While temporary pandemic restrictions, such as store capacity limits, have inconvenienced gun buyers in many places, the shutdowns have been particularly harsh in states with stricter gun laws and more complicated buying processes. Several prospective gun buyers who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon said continued licensing-office closures and appointment slowdowns associated with the virus have extended their purchase process by months or made a legal purchase impossible. 

Nordstrom said those effects have placed law-abiding citizens in a bind.


Jose Pagliery, an investigative journalist who recently moved from New York to New Jersey, said his attempts to buy a gun for home defense have also been thwarted by the continued shutdown of the state's process for issuing drivers licenses. While gun stores in the state reopened at the end of March, Pagliery said New Jersey will not allow him to buy a gun without a valid photo ID issued by the state. And since he's still unable to attain one after more than a month of trying, he is effectively barred from buying guns in the state despite his clean record. 

"This is a de facto ban on new residents legally acquiring firearms," Pagliery told the Free Beacon. "Now my concern is that they'll push it back until it's clear that COVID isn't going away, then they'll push it back indefinitely." 

His repeated attempts to obtain a New Jersey license or provide alternative forms of ID have failed. When the state's motor vehicle commission announced it would reopen on June 29, Pagliery planned to show up at dawn. Then state officials pushed reopening to July 7. 

"It bothers me that a person who is hell-bent on doing this the right way has no option. Especially when the whole point of these kinds of laws is to, reportedly, create a safer atmosphere and environment for the general public," he said. "When I was in Florida, there was no problem with me getting a firearm and now I'm going to say it was supposed to be safer and I definitely feel less safe."

I'm preaching to the choir here, but you loyal Townhall readers have known for years that gun control was never about enhancing public safety. If that were their aim, Democrats would come to the table to hash out better mental health initiatives and treatment. Most past mass shooters have exhibited signs of mental illness, but Democrats would rather rush to universal background checks, red flag laws, so-called assault weapon bans, and magazine limits. The first being a priority since it establishes the framework for a national registry needed for confiscation. Now, they're more open about their hatred for the Bill of Rights and gun owners, so there's no need to sell their explicitly anti-American agenda on this issue. They want to shred the Second Amendment. At any rate, while most of the country has decent gun laws, states that vote Republican, the blue state madness continues—and it's left law-abiding citizens defenseless from this lefty mob's latest campaign of destruction.

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