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The Armed Citizen® | New Jersey

The Armed Citizen® | New Jersey

Given its reputation as a “Democratic stronghold”—and the fact that it’s the only state with every one of its counties deemed "urban" by the Census Bureau—it should come as no surprise that New Jersey isn’t exactly welcoming to gun owners. In fact, it has some of the most stringent gun laws in the U.S. … along with some of the worst violent crime. Following are ten stories of individuals who bucked the politically correct attitudes of their home state and, in doing so, avoided being victimized by violent criminals. 

A man armed with a gun entered the New Neighborhood Deli Supermarket in Newark, N.J. and attempted to rob the store. The store owner responded by retrieving a firearm and shooting the criminal, ending the attempted robbery. An investigation revealed that the armed robber has a criminal record involving drug and weapons offenses. A store employee told a local media outlet that he and the owner would not let fear stop them from working, stating, “To make a life, you have to work … Some people don’t want to work.” (NJ.com, N.J., 1/14/2015)

When an argument outside a Trenton, N.J., lounge escalated with one man pulling a firearm, retired police officer Earl Hill drew the 9 mm he had a permit to carry and ordered the man to drop his gun. When he refused, Hill fired, wounding the assailant and forcing him to flee. The suspect was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault. (The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J., 9/25/2004) 

Two masked men entered a Trenton, N.J.-area liquor store hoping to make some quick money. One, armed with a handgun, pushed the gun through a small window in the cashier's glass enclosure, announced a robbery and demanded cash from store owner Praveen Malhotra. The owner grabbed his .357 Mag. pistol and fired two shots, hitting the suspect in the chest and sending the second robber fleeing. The wounded suspect—identified by police as Steven Gudger, an escapee from Riverfront Prison—was taken to the hospital for treatment. Gudger faced charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a weapon. (The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J., 6/15/2002)

A Lawrence, N.J., business owner shot and killed a man during an attempted robbery. Three men pulled up in front of Five Points Check Cashing shortly before 9 a.m. Two of the men entered the store while the driver waited in the car. According to police reports, one of the suspects attempted to enter the owner's office while the other brandished a gun. The store owner picked up his own gun, which he keeps in his office, and exchanged shots with the armed robber. One of the suspects was killed, and the other fled the scene in the getaway car with the driver. (The Trentonian, Trenton, N.J., 5/19/2002) 

When Karl Provost returned to his home after a pleasant walk in a local garden, he was shaken to find one of his windows had been broken. As he entered his home, Provost picked up his rifle for protection. "At that point, I didn't really know what I was dealing with, and I felt more comfortable with a gun in my hand," he said. When Provost entered his bedroom, he discovered a man rooting through his things. When he confronted the suspect with his rifle, the man surrendered peacefully and Provost called the police. (Trenton Times, Trenton, N.J., 5/5/2001)

Eighty-four-year-old William Harris was in his Southampton, N.J., home one morning when police say a man intent on burglary ripped out a back porch door screen and broke a chain on the kitchen door. When Harris, recovering in bed from cataract surgery, heard roommate Benjamin Davis yell out a warning, he grabbed his 16-ga. shotgun from a closet. When he met the intruder in the darkened kitchen, the man thought the better of his plan and fled. Davis later said of Harris, "He's not a pushover. He'll stand up as long as he can to whatever he has to." (Newsday, Melville, N.Y., 8/5/2000) 

A Newark, N.J., liquor store owner lived above his business to keep watch over the place during the hours it was closed. One morning, the shopkeeper heard the alarm go off and went downstairs to investigate, armed with his 12-ga. shotgun. He found a man ransacking the store who, upon being discovered, threatened the owner with a large rock. When the owner told the intruder not to move, the would-be thief lunged at him. A struggle ensued and the burglar was shot in the neck. The attacker escaped, but was found by police and arrested a short time later. The intruder was charged with burglary and assault. The owner was not charged. (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., 9/2/1997) 

Two masked men stood over a sleeping Wayne Arbus after breaking into his Scotch Plains, New Jersey, home and shot him in the head when he awoke. Leaving him for dead, the two then rummaged through his house stealing a VCR, his wallet, credit cards, money, a BB gun and the keys to his car, which they decided to take as well. The severely wounded Arbus was conscious all the while however, playing possum until he heard his attackers leave. He then retrieved his .357 Mag. and ran outside, shooting at the men as they escaped, hitting his own car in the process. The two were soon arrested in another stolen car after Arbus alerted police. (The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J., 9/14/1996) 

A teenage crook got quite a surprise after he entered 68-year-old Ruth Haskin's home through a kitchen window and crept into her bedroom. The Upper Deerfield Township, N.J., woman kept a .22 cal. handgun within arm's reach whenever she slept. Upon awaking to find the youth in her bedroom, she reached for the gun and shot him in the chest as he came at her, wounding him. (The Press, Atlantic City, N.J., 8/25/1996) 

Four knife-wielding men broke into Kuang Cheng's Lumberton, N.J., home, forcing his two young sons and their grandmother into the family room. As two of the intruders attempted to tape the elderly woman's mouth shut, the other two confronted Cheng and his wife in their bedroom. The homeowner, however, had heard his children screaming and had retrieved a .40 cal. pistol, the sight of which inspired one of the assailants to dive out of the second-floor window and the other to flee downstairs. Firing three times at the criminals, suspects in at least six similar incidents, Cheng single-handedly chased all of the men from his house. (The Times, Trenton, N.J., 3/22/1996)