It's No Secret Why Firearm Applications are Surging in New Jersey

Posted: Aug 26, 2020 11:55 AM
It's No Secret Why Firearm Applications are Surging in New Jersey

Source: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

I mean, when there’s nearly 90 straight days of rioting, looting, and mayhem, you’d want some form of protection too. Yes, the rioting and leftist violence is more intense on the Left Coast—no shocker there—but people are paying attention to the hordes of left-wingers terrorizing America’s cities. It’s caused even the most anti-gun of states to see a surge in firearm permits. Take New Jersey. The Garden State is one of the worst when it comes to Second Amendment rights, but NJ State Police said the number of applications for a firearms permit exceeds the number of submissions from 2018 and 2019 combined. Cam Edwards at our sister site Bearing Arms has more, with some added nuance to the legions of new gun owners we’ve seen this year:

That’s incredible. More New Jersey residents have applied for their government-issued permission slip to exercise their Second Amendment rights in the past seven months than in the past two years combined.

What’s driving the increase? We haven’t seen a ton of violent protests in New Jersey itself, though there have been plenty in neighboring New York City and Philadelphia. Violent crime, on the other hand, is on the rise in some of the state’s biggest cities


And as it turns out, New Jersey residents are no different than Texans, New Yorkers, Californians, and Americans from coast-to-coast who’ve embraced their right to keep and bear arms as cities under the control of Democratic politicians fail to stem the growing tide of violence.

What kind of impact might those 130,000 gun applicants have on the elections in New Jersey? Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by about 500,000 votes, so they might not be able to swing the presidential contest in favor of Donald Trump, but depending on where these gun owners live, they could have an outsize impact on several congressional races. The Cook Political report currently lists three House races in New Jersey as either toss-ups or “lean Democratic,” and if gun owners in the state vote like their rights depend on it, Democrats like Rep. Andy Kim and Rep. Tom Malinowski could lose their seats in favor of pro-2A candidates.

Of course, not every new gun owner is going to be a single-issue voter. Some of the 130,000 people who’ve applied for a gun permit in the state and are now twiddling their thumbs as their local sheriffs take months to approve or deny their application will undoubtably be voting for Joe Biden, even if they’re not thrilled by his anti-gun agenda.

Yeah, that’s the cold hard truth, folks. The year 2020 saw possibly as many as 10 million Americans become new gun owners. Katie wrote yesterday that the number could be higher, with black Americans contributing mightily to that figure. Yet, as Cam noted, not all new gun owners will be Republicans. In July, we noted how Pennsylvania is another example of how a state can be loaded with gun owners, but still vote Democratic. Until 2016, the last time the Keystone State went Republican was in 1988 when Bush 41 won the election.

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Still, it’s a great unknown factor, and one where Democrats are likely going to s crew up reaching them, if they do at all, with their anti-cop and widely unpopular defund the police pushes. There’s a winning message with this bloc concerning law and order. And it looks very much like Trump and the GOP are going to hit that hard until Election Day. We’ll see what happens, but I’d dial down just a little bit that these voters will be solid R voters. I could be wrong, but Virginia is also one of the most heavily-armed states in the country and in 2013, 33 percent of gun owners voted for Democrat Terry McAuliffe.