New Jersey governor wants to raise firearms fees

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy wants to make buying and owning a gun more expensive by hiking the costs of firearm permits.

The permit to buy a handgun now costs $2. He wants to hike that to $50.  That would effectively be a 2,400% increase.

The cost of a firearms identification card would rise from $5 to $100, or 1,900% and the permit to carry a handgun would go up to $400 from $20, also 1,900%.

The governor said that revenue raised would go towards anti-violence initiatives.

Gun-control advocates have praised the proposal but some people question what it will do to reduce violence.

Dan Feldman, a professor of public management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said that the new fees may have an impact on household accidents and suicides. But he said the fees probably won't reduce criminal gun violence because most guns used in crimes aren't sold legally in New Jersey. He said they are sold at retail in southeastern states and then resold illegally on the streets of the Garden State.

Even the governor acknowledged that. Murphy said that 80% of guns used in crimes in 2018 came from out of state, flowing through the so-called "Iron Pipeline."

Advocates for the Second Amendment adamantly oppose the new fees. Alexander Roubian of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society called increases in fees a "tax on law-abiding citizens" that would especially affect low-income individuals. His group is threatening to sue the state if the higher fees become law.