West Milford, New Jersey – Residents of Passaic County have taken their first steps in standing up against what they consider to be unconstitutional laws. West Milford has become one of the first New Jersey towns to declare themselves a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.
On December 4th, the West Milford town council declared itself a “Second Amendment/lawful gun owner sanctuary township.” The resolution voted in by the Council opposes gun control, red flag laws, and “further interference with, or abridging of, the rights of lawful gun owners.”
The resolution goes on to say the measure is intended to “support the rights of lawful gun owners to lawfully use firearms; to defend themselves, their loved ones and other innocents; to lawfully hunt to provide sustenance for their families; and to lawfully participate in shooting sports up to and including Olympic sports.”
The resolution goes on to contend that the laws proposed by the state legislators are not based on factual evidence to support them.
“Gun control laws, including a plethora of current proposed legislation, are not evidence-based legislation called “gun safety” legislation or ‘Red Flag Laws,’ factually have nothing to do with teaching or promoting the safe and lawful use of firearms,” the resolution said.
The resolution was passed into law 6 days before two attackers opened fire in Jersey City killing 3 civilians and 1 police officer on December 10th.
33-year-old mother of 3, Mindel Ferencz, 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch and 49-year-old Miguel Douglas Rodriguez were killed along with 15-year veteran of the police force and father of 5, Detective Joe Seals after two people who opened fire inside a grocery store. At least one of the attackers is linked to the Black Hebrew Israelites, an extremist organization described as a hate group. Police say the store was targeted for its connection to the Jewish community in Jersey City.
According to the New York Times,
“While the exact beliefs of the Black Hebrew Israelites vary among the groups associated with the movement, followers generally believe that the 12 tribes of Israel defined in the Old Testament are different ethnic groups, or nations, and that white people are not among them.”
New York Times goes on to quote Heidi Beirich, the director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who said the Black Hebrew Israelites,
“.. mostly trade in anti-Semitism, they view Jews as impostors.”
The attackers were linked to another murder when 34-year-old Michael Rumberger was found beaten to death with “massive head trauma” in the trunk of a car on the night of December 7th. Detective Joe Seals was investigating that crime when he was shot by the pair as he approached their vehicle.
The shootings encouraged New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to call for stricter gun regulations. And West Milford officials say they are making a statement by declaring themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary and no laws are actually being changed by the resolution.
New Jersey is joining a growing number of counties, cities, and towns in the US who are resisting efforts to limit armed citizens. Currently a struggle between Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his citizens has escalated over the last few months after the governor’s colleagues suggested the National Guard could be used to force county sheriffs to follow state law. Read a detailed article about that situation here.