One of my employees, who lives in New York, explained to me recently that it was ILLEGAL for him to buy lunch at his previous job – because he wanted to make a point about gun rights.
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound like it makes sense — but it actually does.
We were discussing my friend Jason Hanson’s book on legally hiding your guns from the government (and full disclosure, that link will take you to Jason’s sales page in case you want to buy the book, but this post isn’t really about that) and how a state gets so bad that good people have to hide their legal weapons from their own state and local law enforcement.
“It’s the company store mindset, Jeff,” he said to me.
“What?” I asked him.
“At my last job, the one I had before I came to work for you,” he explained, “we used to keep all the local food places in business. Each day of the week, you could put your lunch order on a sign-up sheet, and then one person would call that order in. The cost of your lunches would be subtracted from your paycheck when you got paid, which meant even when I was broke, I could order lunch.”
“What’s that got to do with gun rights?” I asked him.
“Well, see, our HR eventually told us it was ILLEGAL for us to order lunch that way,” he explained. “Something about a ‘company store’ law that prevents your employer from, say, giving you a job, but then charging you for your tools to keep you indebted to the employer. Like that old song, ‘I owe my soul to the company store.'”
“And?” I pressed.
“It’s the same nanny approach they take to guns in New York,” he said. “You can carry a gun in this state – IF you can get a CCW permit. But permits are granted at ‘discretion,’ meaning they can just say ‘no’ for your own good. It’s the same reason New York stopped me from buying lunch to protect me from the horrors of being able to eat when I was broke.”
And that’s when it clicked: If you can control something for “safety” or for someone’s “own good,” you can also deny that thing for any reason at all.
When the Model T came out, Ford used to say you could have any color you wanted as long as it was black.
Well, in states like New York and New Jersey, you can own any gun you want that your local government approves… meaning if they say “no,” your Second Amendment rights might as well not exist.
That’s why the Firearms Policy Coalition recently sued New Jersey over the same practice:
“…[Because of] the onerous nature of Defendants’ Regulatory Scheme, only a tiny fraction of a percent of New Jersey citizens are able to obtain permits to carry handguns, and indeed, most people simply never apply at all because it is well known throughout the State that the ‘justifiable need’ standard effectively renders the process an exercise in futility for all ordinary law-abiding citizens, thus further chilling and denying exercise of the right.”
New Jersey’s laws, like New York’s, are designed to “keep people safe” — but just like the attitude that stopped my employee from legally buying lunch, if they can control it so much that you don’t get the permit, then you don’t really HAVE any gun rights, do you?
It’s a good idea to check in on the Firearm Policy Coalition‘s website periodically, so you can stay on top of legal issues like this.
You can see, obviously, why we should all fight against gun laws that can give someone the power to just take your rights at their “discretion.”
Just because it’s “for your own safety” doesn’t actually mean it won’t harm your rights… and if we let them get away with even small infringements, they’ll move on to bigger ones.
Never, EVER stand for this type of “help” from government, and always fight against it.
The gun rights you save could be your own.