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From The Editor | New Jersey Denies Carry Permit To Army Lt. Colonel

From The Editor | New Jersey Denies Carry Permit To Army Lt. Colonel

Many times here at A1F Daily we have documented the extremely restrictive anti-gun laws New Jersey residents and those visiting that state are forced to contend with again and again. From Shaneen Allen, to Mia Higginbotham, to Carol Bowne, just to name a few, the injustices foisted on lawful citizens by the New Jersey government seem to be never-ending. 

Now, you can count U.S. Army Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell among those negatively affected.

A soldier for 27 years, Russell is the product manager for the Army’s Individual Weapons and Small Arms program and requires a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance for his job. According to The Washington Times, Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton, N.J., where Russell works, was chosen as a terrorist “dry run” for a car bomb, and hackers have tried to obtain information on personnel stationed there.

Concerned by the multiple threats, Russell applied for a concealed-carry permit—a process that would have resulted in issuance of a permit in most states with reasonable carry laws. But not in New Jersey. Russell’s application was quickly turned down—no ifs, ands or buts. And an appeal didn’t go any better.In other words, since Russell doesn’t have an immediate, personal threat to his life, he isn’t permitted to receive a carry permit in New Jersey.

“None of these threats appear to specifically relate to this applicant—he is in no different position than any other person who is assigned to that facility,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a Jan. 29 letter to the judge after Col. Russell appealed the police chief’s decision, as reported by radio station WKXW-FM.

In other words, since Russell doesn’t have an immediate, personal threat to his life, he isn’t permitted to receive a carry permit in New Jersey.

In effect, New Jersey politicians and bureaucrats, in their extremely restrictive process for issuing firearm and carry permits, are toying with people’s futures. And their decisions can actually mean the difference between life and death. One would think they would have learned from the murder of Carol Bowne.

As you might remember, when 39-year-old Carol Bowne of Berlin Township, N.J., realized her ex-boyfriend was violent and likely to hurt her, she did several smart things. She added security cameras and an alarm system to her home. She applied for a protective order to legally keep Michael Eitel away from her. And she decided to purchase a handgun for self-defense.

Unfortunately for Bowne, because of New Jersey’s draconian laws on gun purchases, her firearm permit application—submitted in April—was still under consideration when Eitel, a convicted felon, brutally stabbed her to death in her driveway on June 10. Left defenseless by the very system she relied on to protect her, Bowne paid the ultimate price—and became another victim of the state’s gun laws.

Let’s hope Lt. Col. Russell isn’t, like Bowne, killed because of a wrong-headed decision by those in charge of issuing carry permits in New Jersey. It would mean more innocent blood on the hands of the same people who enabled the brutal murder of Carol Bowne—a woman who did have a specific personal threat but died because the New Jersey government couldn’t be bothered to approve her paperwork in a reasonable amount of time.