For those of you living in free states, here is a glimpse of the living hell endured by those residing in blue states.
When the clock strikes midnight Tuesday morning, anyone in New Jersey who owns a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition is officially in possession of illegal contraband and is deemed a fourth-degree felon. Unlike previous magazine bans, this one retroactively bans people from even owning such magazines in their homes, even though they had been purchased legally. At the same time, the most violent criminal aliens will be actively shielded from deportation by state officials, against federal law. The inmates are running the asylum, while the law-abiding citizens and federal law enforcement are treated like criminals.
While the courts create insane rights for violent criminal aliens, they refuse to recognize the most unambiguous right to bear arms or the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. New Jersey has become a sanctuary to the most dangerous criminal aliens and gangs, many of whom engage in gun trafficking, but peaceful citizens are stripped of the right to self-defense and treated like criminals.
Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill into law in June, giving residents 180 days to discard their magazines of higher capacity than 10, permanently modify them, or transfer them to someone who is legally able to possess them. The ban includes everyone except active-duty military and retired police officers under certain circumstances. Veterans are not excluded at all.
Late last week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the Second Amendment is not a real right subject to strict scrutiny against its regulation. As such, it ruled that the desire to stop gun violence is enough reason to retroactively ban all common magazines in use for basic self-defense and recreation.
The only right the courts will not recognize
Since the Heller ruling, five circuit courts have essentially abolished the ruling by allowing states to ban common weapons, common magazines, and any ability to carry any firearms outside the home. Until now, the Supreme Court, led by the clever obfuscator Chief Justice John Roberts, has refused to overturn these cases. Justice Thomas complained that the lower courts were “resisting this Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald and are failing to protect the Second Amendment to the same extent that they protect other constitutional rights.”
The New Jersey law is more draconian than anything enacted so far because it bans the passive presence in one’s own home of an item that has been legal until now. Aside from running completely afoul of the Second Amendment, this law violates Art. I Sec. 10, which bars states from enacted ex post facto laws. The Supreme Court (Calder v. Bull, 1798) defines ex post facto as a law that “makes an action done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action.” Crazily, with the courts commandeering every political issue from the political branches of government, granting citizens relief from ex post facto laws was the quintessential exercise of judicial review that Hamilton envisioned judges would use.
These same liberal judges are subjecting governmental actions against illegal immigrants to strict scrutiny in order to protect newly concocted rights, yet they refuse to use this standard against regulations on the most foundational and unambiguous right of self-defense. As Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, noted in his dissent, “Though the majority purports to use intermediate scrutiny, it actually recreates the rational-basis test forbidden by Heller.” In fact, the Heller opinion explicitly barred judges from using any “interest-balancing approach.”
Sadly, both in gun and immigration cases, the Supreme Court is callously allowing lower courts to violate settled law.
Just to illustrate the reckless nature of this law, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, a pro-gun group that is fighting the law in court, observes that there is already a state law prohibiting the transfer or disposal of high capacity magazines, thereby placing citizens in a catch-22.
The law is the law … except for illegal aliens
Now, juxtapose this fascist law and absurd court ruling to New Jersey’s other recent policy making the state a sanctuary for criminal alien transnational crime syndicates, gangbangers, and drug cartels. Last Thursday, N.J. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a directive banning law enforcement from, among other things, participating “in civil immigration enforcement operations conducted by ICE” and providing “ICE with access to state or local law enforcement resources, including equipment, office space, databases, or property, unless those resources are readily available to the public.”
Even those illegals detained by local law enforcement “with violent or serious offenses – such as murder, rape, arson, assault, bias crimes, and domestic violence offenses,” may only be held for ICE until 11:59 pm of that day!
What are the results? The state has become a magnet for some of the worst transnational gangsters and drug traffickers who commit the most heinous crimes imaginable, in addition to poisoning thousands in the state with deadly substances. Just over the weekend, ICE completed an operation resulting in the arrest of 105 illegals, of which 80 percent “had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.” The charges included child prostitution, domestic violence, drug trafficking, firearms charges, assault and robbery – and also included violent gang members.
Several of the individuals were previously released by sanctuary counties that refused to honor detainers. A number of others living in the state will now be set free unless ICE gets to them first.
And what about the drug crisis? Roughly 3,000 people are dying every year in New Jersey due to drug overdoses. And no, this is not a prescription problem. Prescriptions have plummeted to the lowest levels in recent memory nationwide and particularly in New Jersey, yet deaths from illicit drugs brought in by illegal alien traffickers have skyrocketed. Just 12 percent of the deaths in 2017 were attributed to oxy or morphine, and as I’ve noted before, most of those people are mixing them with illicit drugs. New Jersey is one of the fastest-growing crisis states, yet the same people who decry the crisis and blame it on doctors and pain patients are actively shielding the very criminal alien networks truly responsible for it.
Let’s not forget that these are the very sorts of people that are convicted for drug trafficking in the federal system, but often committed even worse crimes – and would be released early under the First Step Act. But sanctuary cities are already releasing them, and they go on to commit violence in other states.
Just last month, Luis Rodrigo Perez, an illegal who was apprehended by Middlesex County, New Jersey, for domestic violence was released in defiance of an ICE detainer. He went on to commit a triple homicide in Missouri.
Todd Lyons, acting Field Office Director of Boston’s ICE office, told me in an exclusive interview that he is particularly concerned about the effect of sanctuary states on one another, exacerbating each other’s problems and encouraging criminal aliens to move from one to another. “When other states, especially in the northeast, have a sanctuary police where violent and egregious offenders are released, it creates a problem for states like Massachusetts, where other sanctuary jurisdictions do not factor in criminal history. So, Massachusetts could have an illegal alien arrested for no valid driver’s license released because of the lack of coordination, yet the same alien may have a violent criminal history in a state like New Jersey or New York.”
These liberal sanctuary politicians release real, violent gun felons and are weak on crime but then take away the right of peaceful people to arm themselves, not only on the streets, an act clearly protected by the Second Amendment, but even in their homes, at a time when they need their right to self-defense the most.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.