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Gun Permit Information Should be Available, Man Says

One man was denied information on gun permits because of state statute.

To the Editor:

For decades now, from time to time, someone 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 in Bridgewater, 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 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:

"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 …” (Emphasis added.) Id."

While the response was not entirely unexpected, I was surprised that the state's position is that somehow 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.

Sincerely,

Stewart Resmer

Wayne

stewart resmer January 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Bridegwater is one town in a random survey nothing more, but here @ Patch? articles, opinions and such migrate across the Patch network, why even in my hometown of Santa Monica California! Thanks for asking! http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/home/demandaplan.html http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence
James hoff January 17, 2013 at 12:03 AM
It would be nice for criminals to know who owns firearms. Then they could targets these homes to get guns. Or just know what homes to avoid when people are at home, would make there robberies easier. Maybe they could find out who made expense purchases too. Why rib a home with no valuables.
stewart resmer January 17, 2013 at 12:19 AM
ahh the ol' criminals would know angle, I get it? So if a criminal knows who may own a weapon then they will surely come after it then? Is that your view? So suppose the authorities verify whose asking before they comply with the OPRA? Kind of a reverse process? If you go to my linkedin page you'll see several BPD persons and who knows who else have looked it over. Look James, I served in the USMC during wartime and more, this problem with loose firearms is a serious problem in my opinion, and I feel the need to know is reasonable. Thx
stewart resmer January 17, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Recreational assault weapons fire riddles Ohio home, narrowly misses officer http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/17/recreational-assault-weapons-fire-riddles-ohio-home-narrowly-misses-officer/
Linda January 17, 2013 at 07:59 PM
You really have too much time on your hands. You have a "need to know"? Really, and what are you going to do with the knowledge that someone next door or two doors down or heaven forbid both have gun permits? Are you going to move to a neighborhood where no permits are on record? How about the the residents who have guns purchased illegally? What do you do then? Demand that you are allowed to have each of your neighbors homes searched for guns to be sure there are none there? How often would the searches take place? Monthly, weekly? When is the need to know too much? If heading in that direction, which this country is surely allowing the current Pres to head, we are no longer living in the land of the free. Focusing on putting more laws into place, which by the way criminals don't follow, hence the term "criminal", is doing nothing.
stewart resmer January 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Linda I have all the time in this life that the creator affords me, and so far as I am concerned We the People do have a right to know what dangers exist within our person and homes, what we have currently under the law is a de facto concealed weapons permit that forbids disclosure based upon unequal protection under the law. I shall not be moved.
Ahmed Shraim January 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Wow. Excellent response Linda. Very well said. It is time to really stand up for those silly people.
Ahmed Shraim January 18, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Hey Stewart you served in the USMC during wartime, was that Vietnam?
stewart resmer January 18, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Guns at Home: Do Neighborhoods' Firearms Permits Lower Property Values? 'I'd Think Twice About Living There' A controversial recent report raised concerns about these residences -- and some realtors say it could drive down the value of the homes. http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2013/01/16/gun-permits-home-values/?icid=maing-grid10%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl18%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D258292
stewart resmer January 18, 2013 at 02:43 PM
AS youre in the monority opinion on this one: According to the PEW poll, fully 85 percent of Americans are in favor of enacting a universal background check system and closing the gun show loophole. That figure includes nearly an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, and supports previous polls that have suggested that even members of the National Rifle Association are in favor of expanding the background check system. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/01/15/1446651/new-poll-shows-wide-bipartisan-support-for-key-gun-safety-measures/?mobile=nc http://www.pollingreport.com/guns.htm
stewart resmer January 19, 2013 at 02:53 PM
When it comes to 'their' right to keep and bear arms, you seek anonimty, when it comes to our right to know who has what sort of firearms about we are to be denied, this is clearly unequal protection under the law, a double standard. Even unconstitutional.
stewart resmer February 05, 2013 at 08:03 PM
3yr old S.C. boy killed mistaking pink handgun for toy
stewart resmer February 13, 2013 at 10:06 PM
N.J. Assembly panel OKs gun control measures as crowd packs hearing It also passed legislation to exempt firearms records from the state’s open public records law. Assembly committee considered 24 gun control bills today. http://www.northjersey.com/news/state/NJ_lawmakers_consider_25_bills_reforming_gun_laws.html?page=all
stewart resmer February 24, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Governor Christie A-3788, is an example of runaway government that promulagtes unequal protection under the law. Allow me to explain? Due to the peculiar nature of the instrument, a firearm, a projectile is fired under extreme pressure with the capabilities to travel many hudreds of feet per second, over a distance of multiples of hundreds of yards with great force upon impact. Yet under this proposed bill, I am deprived the right to know who has what weapons within proximity of my person thus potentialy depriving me of life from being unable to assess the threat and danger of such instrument fired by will or accident and take precaution to protect myself in either case while the bill supercedes and subordinates my right to life but rather preserves and protects privacy of holders of permits and weapons. Further under common law as referenced under the Statement, this bill seeks to strip me of my common law access to that information. In 2 instances the Townships of Bridgewater (OPRA 12-681) and Wayne (OPRA 12-698) have already denied me the right to aforesaid information citing Regulation and not law. Strike down this bill.
stewart resmer March 01, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Judge Robert Bork said, "I'm not an expert on the Second Amendment, but its intent was to guarantee the right of states to form militia, not for individuals to bear arms." In the same lecture, he added that "assault weapons could be banned under the Constitution," and that other restrictions on guns were constitutional. In 1991, he went at the gun rights' lobby: "[T]he National Rifle Association is always arguing that the Second Amendment determines the right to bear arms. But I think it really is people's right to bear arms in a militia. The NRA thinks that it protects their right to have Teflon-coated bullets. But that's not the original understanding."
stewart resmer August 21, 2013 at 07:04 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.

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