“You have this paradox in that New Jersey has arguably the toughest gun laws in the nation yet has a city within it that has gun violence at Third World country rates,” Camden County Chief of Police Scott Thomson is quoted as saying in this USA Today story about crime in the City of Camden. Indeed, no less an authority on gun control policy than the Brady Campaign has ranked New Jersey has having the second toughest gun laws in the nation:
In a 2011 report, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which advocates stricter gun laws, considered New Jersey the state with the second strongest gun laws in America. New Jersey topped the list because among other things, the state requires permits to purchase any handgun, a special identification card to purchase long guns, and background checks in issuing permits. It requires firearms dealers to be licensed and prohibits the possession and transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.
And what are these gun laws accomplishing? Not much. When criminals want guns, they’re getting guns:
Anderson Baker lives in a state with a litany of gun regulations. But no law stopped him from becoming a teenage drug dealer who could easily acquire, and use, his weapon of choice. …
This brash teenager didn’t need gun shows or shops, nor was he slowed by background checks or waiting periods or reams of documentation. Baker secured his weapons of choice by borrowing guns from family and friends. In each instance, he was never encumbered by New Jersey’s tough-as-nails laws. …
Baker said he never attempted to get a permit and never had a background check when he got his guns.
Why would he? Gun control laws are for people who care about following laws.
Meanwhile, New Jersey is considering even more gun laws under the leadership of Governor Chris Christie. But at what point the politicians recognize that gun control policies are an ineffective way to address gun control?