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Opinion: Firearms Are A Constant Factor in Violent Crimes

Resident attempts to find out the number of firearm permits issued in Wayne only to have his request denied.

To The Editor:

For decades now, from time to time some one with a firearm seems to step out of the crowd and begins shooting down innocent people for no apparent reason. Not that any reason would ever justify an act of carnage the likes of which we have come to be witness to as of late. 

It always seems to me that society is always better at looking back at these incidents rather than looking forward at them, analyzing what has happened rather than heading them off. 

And for all the efforts we do make in deconstructing these sort of events to try to know what might have been going through the minds of these very bad actors, and what set them off, one thing remains a constant factor, firearms. 

When it comes to building here in Wayne, owners of property file for building permits and they are reviewed and in many cases neighbors adjacent to such sites are advised as to the impact that certain projects have on the surrounding community. Owners are compelled to come before the boards and council to have those plans and designs approved. 

But not when it comes to gun safety, government issues permits for ownership here in New Jersey in secret. 

And as they do, you and me are not advised that there is a large caliber firearm within its effective range, of where we reside. 

A few weeks ago I submitted an Open Public Record Request for access to the number of firearms permits issued by the township and that request resulted in: 

"Because of the sensitivity of your request I sought guidance from the Government Records Council and our Township Attorney and with such your request is denied in whole based on the below:

"New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety’s regulations at N.J.A.C. 13:54-1.15, which provides that:

“Any background investigation conducted by the chief of police … of any applicant for a permit, firearms identification card license, or registration … is not a public record and shall not be disclosed to any person not authorized by law or this chapter to have access to such investigation, including the applicant … [A]ny document reflecting the issuance or denial of such permit, firearms identification card, or license … maintained by any … municipal governmental agency, is not a public record and shall not be disclosed to any person not authorized by law or this chapter to have access to such documentation, including the applicant …”

While the response was not entirely unexpected I was surprised that the states position is that some how a permit that requires government approval is not a public record? In other communities where this sort of information is deemed public information one township took exception to releasing the information citing the safety of law enforcement, first responders and veterans over the Peoples' right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness. 

It is my position that We The People have a right to know if there is a firearm and permit applied for and granted within reasonable distance to where we live, capable of firing a projectile that if pointed our way could in fact penetrate the very walls behind which we live, and that while I do honor and respect the safety of those whom we entrust our protection, it is my protection and that of my family and neighbors that is non negotiable.

Stewart Resmer

Wayne

John Davies April 01, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Sound like Stewart wants to know which of his neighbors he should avoid p***ing off!
stewart resmer August 21, 2013 at 07:02 AM
heres an update: NRA Hates Keeping Lists of Gun Owners, Except for Its Own Secret Database New York Magazine - 4 hours ago The NRA's response: That's not any of your business. How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun ... - BuzzFeed www.buzzfeed.com/stevefriess/how-the-nra-built-a-massive-secret-database-of-gun-... 7 hours ago ... How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners ... years of acquiring gun permit registration lists from state and county offices, ... How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/how-the-nra-built-a-massive-secret-database-of... 7 hours ago ... How The NRA Built A Massive Secret Database Of Gun Owners. BuzzFeed .... Heckle: Selling their list Just like every other corporate gifter.
Scondo August 22, 2013 at 09:29 AM
If there are 200 million guns in the US, a widely accepted number , and if there are fewer than 4.5 million NRA members, then the NRA would never have a realistic ability to compile an ownership data base. What we really need is a firearms purchase license similar to a drivers license. The photo of the person , holographic security details and other pertinent data right on the card. That purchase license can be suspended just as a drivers license can be suspended for things such as domestic abuse, voluntary or involuntary commitment, suidcide attempt, convictions, drug and or alcohol offenses. And even such things as failure to secure firearms or accidental discharge. Each state would issue that card, which would then be contained in a database. The card would only be issued after background check. Right now the permitting process is well beyond the 30 day maximum that the law calls for. This is due to the overwhelming demand for permits.
Bobtwo August 22, 2013 at 10:09 AM
I am neither for nor against guns or the NRA. What Scondo proposes sounds like more government control. The government has its nose in to many things.
Scondo August 23, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Actually, Bob, the control that is now in place is far more burdensome than what I propose. I propose a license to own, purchase, carry and transport all in one little card. Now they have multiple checks , mental health, domestic violence, drug , public health safety and welfare , "other". And they are taking more than the statutory time period for processing.

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