1. Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ, said, “It’s very simple:Do we want to be standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone in a church or anywhere else not knowing whether that person is legally carrying a handgun?”

    Mr. Miller, what I want is for *criminals* at the grocery store, the movie theater or anywhere else to wonder whether “that person is legally carrying a handgun.” Why should I be bothered at all whether someone is doing something legally?

  2. I was lucky enough to attend the GRPC. Although I am not known in the circles that filled the conference I do try to speak to those around me. I was thrilled to hear some of the things that were said. I loved seeing the different groups come together and show the power that we the people can have. Being from Sacramento I was very happy to hear about the county becoming a shall issue county, unfortunately I could not find out about the case that brought that about (I believe it was about a member of the Pink Pistols). Do you have any information on that? Lastly I have been a huge fan of yours Mr. Ayoob and seeing you at the conference was a treat. Unfortunately I tend to be very shy and watch more than talk and I did not go up to you and introduce myself. My loss, but I hope at some point to be able to rectify that. Thank You for all you do. Keep up the great work.

  3. $500/year is a new Jim Crow law. High prices are a way to keep the masses of commoners from becoming armed citizens.

    Modifying what Ben Franklin said a bit …
    “Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what’s for dinner. Liberty is a RICH and armed sheep contesting the vote.”

    Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

  4. If States see CCW as a revenue generator, it could be a plus for us all. This would mean that the States have a financial interest in selling CCW permits. Right now, here in Kansas, for some folks, you can easily spend 300 towards getting your initial CCW permit. (I spent less but most spend nearly that).
    On the other hand, high fees are fundamentally wrong.
    We just need to encourage that States to see this as a high volume asset and not a high cost fee opportunity.

  5. I can’t help but think about those low income folks who can’t afford the $500, but due to their circumstances may have the greatest everyday need for self protection. I guess since they are poor their need for self defense isn’t all that important. You can bet that every legislator who voted for that law can afford the fee.

  6. Get the bill passed by dangling dollar signs in front of liberal spenders to spend on asinine social programs, then cut the fee through judicial action… not a bad plan.

  7. Mas:

    A 500 dollar fee to carry? How much for me to run a printing press, or type out and send and e-mail?

    The concept is disturbing- it does indeed feel like a poll tax. The Supreme Court detrmined that at least one effect of the poll tax was to prevent voters of limited means from exercising the right to vote. What effect will the fee have on otherwise law abiding citizens who cant write a check for a large sum?

    ” Joe Citizen, you can have the lawful means to defend yourself against deadly attack, outside of your home, if you can afford the license”.

    It seems to me that such a premise is unconstitutional on the face. The only way a fee could pass honest muster is if it only covers actual costs, and even that seems that it might be a far stretch.

    All that being said, from the standpoint of getting SOMETHING, it might be tactically wise to take a shall issue CCW with an enormous fee as a starting point, and then litigate and fight politically to get the fee reduced to the point of being financially and constitutionally innocuous.

    Half a loaf is better than none; start where you can.

    If I lived someplace where I was denied the ability to protect myself and my family, I would also seriously investigate moving elsewhere. A polity where the politicians insist on unarmed citizens has little appeal to me.

    Thanks for this interesting forum.


  8. Mr. Ayoob,

    Thanks so much for your article. This really is a “great leap forward” for NJ. Actually, wearing EMPTY holsters outside our clothing would be radical here. New Jerseyians are even afraid of the very word, “gun.” (Oh my God! Someone is going to die!) I should move to a “free” state like NH or PA.

    Would I pay $500 a year to exercise a right here? Yeah, I probably would. That way I wouldn’t have to worry if the gun were accidently exposed. As it is, I practice concealed carry in my house. As long as I am more afraid of the police than I am of criminals (or bears), I do not carry concealed outside the home. The minute I begin to fear criminals more than police (maybe a riot) I will carry outside the home. The Constitution and Natural Law will be my defense.

    FL and VA are wonderful states because they will grant out-of-state carry permits to people like me. I have both. I can carry legally in PA but not in my own state of NJ.

    Massad, your books are wonderful.

    Dave Salmon
    Sparta, NJ

  9. That’s encouraging news for Californian’s. When I lived there 30 years ago, I tried to get a CCW in rural Kern County and was told by the chief duputy over my area that unless I was rich and carried a lot of money from/to my business, that I’d NEVER get a CCW.

    There’s hope for the “People’s Republik” yet ~; – )

  10. Mas, I am fortunate to live in Southeastern North Carolina where pistol purchase permits are $5.00 and concealed carry permit charges are $90 EVERY FIVE YEARS. Any amount over the reasonable cost to process purchase or carry permits by a government agency is clearly a back door tax for exercising a constitutional right. An annual $500 charge for concealed carry is ludicrous. It is not difficult to discern what side Senator Van Drew is on. The politicians who seek to sell us our own rights for ridiculous amounts should be prepared to pack their bags before 2 November, 2010.

  11. I couldn’t agree more. A shall issue CCW law that has a high price tag is still a shall issue CCW law.

    Like the old joke about once we’ve established the fundamentals and all that is left is to determine the price, I think that austere times may be driving anti-gunners to see the light (and the money) in allowing more gun freedoms.

    I think we should grab them, and then work to improve them. Kind of like HR 218. Establish the precedent, and then work to expand it.

  12. Thank you for your efforts in educating us and fighting for gun rights. You are an inspiration.

  13. I got out of that God forsaken state 20 years ago (NJ) and I have NEVER looked back. I feel for the people I left behind but I also think…well if they are still there, if they chose NOT to leave as I did then the freedom that I enjoy now and have been for many years apparently was never important enough for them! BASTA!

  14. Right on. This looks like nothing more than a revenue source (“tax” for people who speak English) for cash-strapped NJ. The legitimate purpose of a government fee is to cover the cost of the purpose of the fee. If NJ has $500 in cost per concealed-carry citizen, then $500 is legitimate. Of course any thinking person knows this amount is ridiculous! If anything, CC citizens save the public money. We have a right under natural law to defend ourselves, and this right should not just be afforded to the rich who least need it.

  15. Mas, I’m in upstate NY and in a pro gun county. I paid $116 for my permit plus the cost of pictures (4). Fingerprinting was included. Looking at the size of my file with no arrests and a stellar record, it was still many pages. I would say that the cost was in line with the time spent for the investigation.

    Did you say $500 PER YEAR???? Now that’s wacked! My charges were one-time. There is definately something sinister going on there.

    One of our county sheriffs was traveling through NJ heading home from a shoot in one of the southern states. He got pulled over by a NJ trooper. After some small talk the trooper asked if he would open his trunk. He kindly said NO. The trooper smiled and left. If the deputy opened his trunk, he would have been arrested because our county uses hollow points and it is forbidden in NJ and subject to 3 years in prison. Go figure!!!!!

  16. Dennis Peek, please introduce yourself next time. Always good to meet you folks.

    I’ve just spent a long day with my grandkids and am too damn tired to look up my notes from the GRPC. However, Gene Hoffman covered the California situation very well. A video of his talk was kindly posted by a CalGuns member on their forum at, in the Second Amendment section. That should answer all your questions.

    Hoping to meet you next time,

  17. As long as any state (such as Arizona) recognizes the right of all citizens to carry, and does so at no charge, then I cannot possibly condone the charging of one red cent for the exercise of my pre-constitutional right of self-defense. The $500 could be $5,000 or 5 cents, the principal would be the same. No state can justify charging for the exercise of right to carry with the excuse of “recouping administrative costs.” Arizona proves that no such administrative cost is necessary. Now ask me how I feel. 😉

  18. Intended or not, it’s straight-up discrimination. It’s saying: “Poor people don’t deserve the right to protect themselves.” That just isn’t right.

  19. @HT4 that’s one trick that may work here. Get it through as is, then kill the fee for being discriminatory. hmmmmmmm…

  20. I’m very curious to see how Sacramento’s CCW will go. If I can I’ll grab one since I have a lot of friends and family there. If I recall correctly California CCWs (at least Yolo or Sacramento County) require you to register at most 3 firearms per license (and I really doubt they’ll like more than one on you at a time). I imagine CA’s permit might be outrageous in terms of fees, if it’s anything like their building permits…

    For anyone that’s interested, CO’s CCW is $150 with a firearms course requirement (almost any class will work) and is good for 5 years with a $50 renewal. While it’s a CO permit, the county sheriff issues it and I’m not sure if the appearance of the permit is standardized or varies between counties. Supposedly, because it has the county name on the permit, it can be confusing for Law Enforcement Officers in other states.

    On a side note, several years ago the CO CCW used to cover any deadly weapon (knives and etc). While for the most part the change was better, I wish CO and other states would relax some of the “deadly weapon” laws. I can carry two guns on me throughout CO but when I cross county/city lines I have to worry about the length of my folding pocket knife.

    Out of curiosity, has anyone been able to find any laws applying to extending batons? It seems to be a rather grey area just about everywhere, I’ve asked local PD officers and all I’ve gotten is a “Good question…I don’t know…”

  21. Like you say Mas, the cost of the permit would likely come down, when people realize that the crime rate is really dropping, and there aren’t gunfights on every street corner.

    Is $500 a year a lot of money for enjoying a god-given right? Certainly! But at present, except for a select few, no amount of money will allow you to exercise your full rights to self defense in New Jersey.

  22. $500 to get a concealed carry permit would be a God send for those of us in Illinois. Anything would be better than what I can get now. I live just 10 minutes south of the other great state that does not allow law abiding citizens to protect themselves as they see fit.

    To demonstrate the lunacy even further – I was not able to carry concealed, off duty, when I worked for one of our sheriff departments. I was a deputy sheriff correctional officer listed as a peace officer of the state. I spent 8+ hours a day with the finest examples society had to offer but was unable to protect myself or my family when not in uniform.

    I couldn’t tell you the number of times I was out with my wife and was approached by someone who knew me from the jail. Luckily none of those encounters ever went south.
    I envied the man with shoes when I had none until I met a man with no feet. It can always be worse.

  23. >> Illinois, one of the last two states where there is no provision at law for honest, law-abiding citizens to…carry a loaded, concealed handgun when they’re out and about.<<

    For all practical purposes, Hawaii is the third. No one can get a permit here, even if your car has been firebombed with you in it three times in three weeks by the local meth heads, with written promises to keep doing it.

    I agree with Mike Swanson (9:09 am): Arizona (and Vermont and Alaska) have proven there is no need for the license laws to even exist.

    Until the courts discover a right of the government to demand permits, fingerprints, and fees from everybody before they buy a printing press or start a blog, I see no Constitutional difference between newspapers and gun owners.

  24. “…spent a long day with my grandkids…” Ya know, Mas, I’m sure glad you’ve got your priorities straight!

  25. The time is soon coming when every person must stand up for what they believe. God Bless America, Land of the FREE.

  26. why, pray tell, should I pay one red cent to my “masters” to exercise my God given right to bear arms?!? i respectively decline! yours in freedom! rob

  27. If you live in a hopelessly-lefty failed state like California, LEAVE it!
    That state’s unfixable – not just about gun rights, but also fiscally and in quality of life!
    So why stay in a bad place – that’s only getting worse?

  28. Tim, in a great many states carrying a telescoping baton is illegal, even if you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. It comes under prohibited martial arts weapons in some states, and prohibited “blackjacks” and “bludgeons” in others.

    When in doubt, write a letter to the state attorney general’s office in the given state…get an answer in writing…and put a copy of their letterhead response in the glove box of each of your vehicles and otherwise keep multiple copies handy if they tell you it’s OK.


  29. $500 is insane to get a CHL in NJ but, consider “when the camel gets it’s nose under the tent…” and realize it’s a step in the right direction. Let the folks who can afford it get one and the others can then file lawsuits to bring the cost down to a reasonable level. All guns rights have been (unfortunately) gained one tint step at a time.

  30. @Mas

    Thanks for the response, I would have never thought of placing an extending baton in the bludgeon or blackjack category, I just consider it a baton or extending baton…maybe an escrima stick. As for “martial arts weapons” in CO, it seems to vary between cities and counties. For example some areas allow ownership of nunchaku but they need to stay inside, while others forbid even ownership (sadly).

    Hmmm…I may just end up doing writing my state’s AG. I imagine sending the AG’s office an actual letter and receiving an actual letter would be preferable to email. Could me writing to the AG ever be twisted and somehow used against me or get me unwanted attention?

    I carry a dejammer and my fiance carries a Kubotan-isque keychain, I’d hate to have an eager prosecutor somehow consider those batons and use my written letter as some form of premeditation.


    I fully agree with you. Get out before it’s too late. In Sacramento, ANY size knife is considered a deadly weapon and therefore illegal. Once I moved out of CA and to CO, one of the first things I did was get my CCW.

    I’m glad, they passed the National Park carry law, although I wish it superseded state law (I’m looking at you California). I’d love to go to Yosemite again but I plan on avoiding no carry states until Right to Carry becomes law in those places. Bad things do happen in National Parks, look at the guy who killed and beheaded a few people near the Yosemite area. Wait…I guess that’s why Sacramento has their knife laws…


  31. $500 a year is ridiculous. Still, if the options were $500 per year for a shall issue permit or no possibility of obtaining a permit, I would take the first option.

    If the price can’t be lowered, I believe the following strategy should be employed:

    1. Convince the legislature to pass the shall-issue law, using both reason (it’s the direction that the country is going and has been shown to not raise, and possibly lower, violent crime), and an incentive (lots of money in fees). The incentive gets the bill passed. The reasoning gives the politicians something to use when anti-gun groups attack them. What honest citizens get is precedent.

    2. After the legislature has gotten accustomed to the revenue stream and blood has failed to run in the streets, go after the fee by any means necessary. Use the courts, use like-minded politicians, and use the press. Point out how out of line the fee is compared to other states. Strongly emphasize the discriminatory angle. Show examples of how the law lets the rich carry with ease while keeping poor minorities in low income neighborhoods from exercising the same right. As has been stated before, once the precedent has been established, we’re just haggling on price.

    Sure, these are bait and switch tactics, but I have no qualms about cheating anyone who would have me pay to exercise my rights.

  32. Matt…those of us that stay in CA do so because of family, etc…but we also enjoy fighting the good fight. We are making progress, and the Heller and MacDonald decisions have helped tremendously. Watch Gene Hoffman’s update on CA gun rights: Also, remember that leftist ideas may start in CA, but if they become law and become commonplace, look for them in a state near you. Consider donating to the Second Amendment Foundation to overthrow gun control laws nationwide, so that your state remains gun friendly, too.

  33. Tim, a lawyer who has no case is a very predictable creature…it will attempt to grasp at straws.

    If that creature tries to make you look like a reckless outlaw…when you will probably be remembered at the Attorney General’s office as the ONE person who was responsible enough to check on legality with the highest authority…I would see that as a point for your side, not for opposing counsel’s.

    Just one guy’s “non-legal opinion,”

  34. “Tim, in a great many states carrying a telescoping baton is illegal, even if you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. It comes under prohibited martial arts weapons in some states, and prohibited “blackjacks” and “bludgeons” in others. ”

    Carrry a Mag-Lite flashlight in your car at all times – that’s just “being prepared for emergencies.”
    Sharpie’s “Professional” marker – sold to building tradesmen – is very rugged and a great yarawa stick!

  35. Mas, you know I didn’t consider it that way. I might just give it a shot now. Better to interact with the law on my own terms rather than theirs I suppose. Thanks again for the idea, I appreciate it.

    Matt, thanks for the suggestions. I already have a few Mag-Lites floating around with my newer LED lights. However, I may have to look at the Sharpie you suggested. I am rather fond of my Cold Steel Sharkie but I’ve never tried taking it through security simply because it says Cold Steel.

  36. Uncle Mas,
    The good news for Illinois is Daily is not running for re-election for Emperor of Chicago. The winds of change are increasing with Illinois voters. We shall see-but, I digress.

  37. “Matt, thanks for the suggestions. I already have a few Mag-Lites floating around with my newer LED lights. However, I may have to look at the Sharpie you suggested. I am rather fond of my Cold Steel Sharkie but I’ve never tried taking it through security simply because it says Cold Steel.”

    That Sharpie “Professional” has a pocket clip, is a no-roll design for building tradesmen – and has a partly-rubberized grip for firm holding; with its semi-flattened shape, it easily carries in a shirt pocket. Best of all, it has sold recently for 99 cents each at Tractor Supply!
    I once drove a nail into sheetrock with an ordinary Flair felt-tip – but it really isn’t thick enough for a good grip for use as a yarawa stick, and its metal clip is too likely to dangerously come off if you tried using it as a yarawa stick.

  38. Pro carry=good.
    However establishing freedoms as income generators=bad.
    I had to think about this for a while, and while it’s all well and good to work for gun rights, presedent works both ways.
    If we as a community accept exsess fees, regardless how great our intentions, how soon till some shall issue state with lower fees chooses to follow that path?
    I really feel of late that many in the pro-gun community are willing to forget the fact that the right to bare arms isn’t granted by the constitution, but simply restated there…laws like this are well intended, but place the fight on a lower level, where freedom becomes something that can be legislated against instead of for.
    No ofense to those who may disagree.

  39. This totally changes things. A lot of the arguments for keeping people from carrying concealed are now not an issue… as long as you pay. $500 to grease the wheels of Bureaucracy… Nice! The are saying “We will make things easier… if you pay”. This tells me there is no valid reason to make things difficult for people to carry concealed other then they can. They are also saying “Pay me and I give you what you want”. Why should I pay to protect myself? The government already gets the sales tax from my gun and ammo purchases. That should be enough! Now they are suggesting your rights are for sale. What’s next? Pay me and you can say what you want? Pay me and we won’t search you? It sounds like paying bribes to thugs to me…

  40. It is not just $500/year. There are background tests and qualification courses that must be taken at the concealed carrier’s expense. The cost will be way north of $500 annually. And there are still caveats in there that can limit issuance. The whole measure and price tage speaks of elitism. Lower and middle-income working class types can’t afford this. It started with a Democrat Senator’s posturing to get himself noticed. A Republican, Mr. Carroll, has had a provision for CCW waiting in the wings for years but it never gets voted in for consideration. The present Gov. Christie is not a gun advocate. To admit advocacy at this stage in his career would be political suicide. He thinks New Jersey’s gun laws “are fine the way they are.” New Jersey ranks in the bottom five in the U.S. in firearms purchases based on NICS records compiled since 1998. There is no gun culture here in New Jersey, nor are there many advocates who will move the issue in the direction of responsible concealed carry. Until a grass roots movement starts and an influential change-champion emerges to push such a measure in New Jersey to lead the grass roots effort; nothing will ever change in New Jersey.

  41. Add the New Jersey Second Amendment Society ( to the list of state level grass roots organizations that are making things happen on the ground. They are a relatively new organization that is quickly making a name for itself with it’s monthly guest speaker series and face to face meetings with NJ legislators. They are worth supporting.

  42. My wife and I, both NJ natives who’ve resided here for the past two decades after coming home from New York and Montana respectively, think the $500.00 is ok. As a start towards moving to Texas, that is. I can’t stand another year in a state where legal, safe, trained firearms owners are treated like criminals while Camden, Newark and Trenton, our capitol, are over-run with recidivist criminals.

    So strange that we are one of the 13 original colonies and our rights are strangled so! Texas, we’re a ‘comin’!