TOMS RIVER – Last year, Gov. Phil Murphy put gun makers, vendors and financial institutions on notice that if they wanted to do business with the state, they would need to adhere to New Jersey’s tough gun-control standards.
Murphy’s measure introduced last September was criticized by the New Jersey’s National Rifle Association, saying the state was trying to “demonize” gun ownership.
That measure is one example of several, that has gun owners across the state voicing concern about their 2nd Amendment rights.
Local residents brought their concerns to the Board of Ocean County Freeholders and during a recent meeting, the Freeholders unanimously passed a resolution in support of the 2nd Amendment.
Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said “we have for the last several months received many letters from residents, some of whom are here today, from many different counties throughout the state of New Jersey.”
The resolution was written “opposing any law that would unconstitutionally restrict the right under the 2nd Amendment.”
Murphy was quoted at a press conference last year saying “despite our efforts, every day countless residents remain at risk of gun violence regardless of where they live.” Murphy noted the average of 280 gun-related homicides each year and the more than 1,300 people injured in shootings.
The first to speak was Ronald Rybicki of Toms River who is a member of the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Sanctuary. He had also come before the board during a previous meeting to express his views.
“I wanted to explain this movement which is bringing Republicans, Democrats, independents and Libertarians and not only that but it is bringing different religions together for one cause, which is the 2nd Amendment right,” Rybicki said.
He presented a diagram to show “the different counties and towns that have gone along with this and tonight this whole township is going to go green,” Rybicki said regarding those communities that have expressed concerns through resolutions of opposition against 2nd Amendment restrictions.
“If by the next election we can get 70% of those counties or townships that are in green I am hoping we can all come together, different political parties and vote in a governor who will defend the constitution of the United States. Thank you for making Ocean County number 31 on the list,” he said.
Larry Trainor of Bayville, also a member of NJ 2nd Amendment Sanctuary stated his support of the resolution. “The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and with the extreme protection orders we have already on the books for dangerous and violent criminals – nobody in their right mind would want those people to be armed – however we have these new red flag laws that are redundant and they don’t allow due process so what is happening is the 4th Amendment is being violated as well as the 2nd Amendment.”
Trainor added, “we don’t necessarily want to keep towing the line we want our rights and this resolution is a step forward and I appreciate your putting it through.”
“Not only is the 2nd Amendment very important to us but the 4th Amendment of the United States goes back to before the Civil War and the importance of that is not only to protect your house through the 2nd Amendment but it makes illegal search and seizure,” Vicari said.
Vicari added, “it is very, very important. Therefore, you have certain rights, your home and your land is your castle. We support the entire Bill of Rights and the 2nd and 4th Amendments are very important to us.”
“As you know Feb. 15 was the 170th birthday of Ocean County and we respect the constitution and traditional values,” Vicari said.
Deputy Director Gary Quinn thanked those who came out at the meeting and spoke about the resolution that was adopted. “I think it was very well known, even though I know it took a little longer than we wanted to that we are 100% in support of the 2nd Amendment and this resolution and certainly we can’t do anything by sitting back.”
Freeholder Gerry P. Little said regarding the 2nd Amendment, “I am a strong supporter of that. The most important thing we can do as advocates is to defend our rights. As you know we have nine Supreme Court Justices. There are four who are solid supporters of the 2nd Amendment.”
“We have four who are vigorously opposed to the 2nd Amendment and we have one Supreme Court member is kind of a swing vote. There will be vacancies in the next few years (on the Supreme Court) and we need the fifth vote to maintain the 2nd Amendment,” he said.
Freeholder Jack Kelly said, “we appreciate those who took the time to write to us and tell us of your support for this. Thank you for coming out today.”
Freeholder Virginia Haines said of the resolution’s passage, “I’ve had a firearms ID card for over 30 years. I may not own a firearm right now but I do have one and I am 100% behind you and this is what America stands for and what this is all about our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I appreciate your coming here to express your concerns about the 2nd Amendment.”