Military and Police

De-Policing New Jersey: State Legislature’s Backdoor Gun Control Law Has a Terrible Aim

Perverting American law, the New Jersey legislature recently passed a gun law that insults law-abiding gun owners and disrespects the U.S. Constitution. Further, it has, theoretically, disarmed many New Jersey law enforcement officers. The new law bans firearm magazines that exceed a 10-round capacity.

Now, 10 rounds may sound like a lot. But I’d refer you to the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout in Los Angeles in 1997. Ten rounds would have lasted maybe three seconds in that shootout. Hell, that would have been the case in an incident much smaller in scope and duration.

When officers may choose their duty weapon, they consider various firearm features that physically and mentally suit them. In my case, a year or two before I retired, I exchanged my Glock 22 (40 Cal.) for a Glock 17 (9 mm). I liked that the 9 could carry more rounds than the .40. I chose the 9 because in police work you never know what will happen next. Hollywood shootouts may only happen once in a career or, more likely, never. But I always thought, I’d rather be prepared for when than bet wrong on if.

Why am I bringing this up? Because the New Jersey legislature, in its finite wisdom, just passed a gun magazine “large” capacity ban. No one—no one—can use a magazine with a capacity of over 10 rounds. The vast majority of officers who carry semi-automatic pistols use magazines that exceed this limit. Therefore, New Jersey officers who carry their on-duty side arms when off-duty will be breaking the law. (Hey, New Jersey legislature, who are you going to get to enforce that law?)

Aside from the lack of practicality in enforcing such a law against cops, this is a serious issue. I see two sleaze factors at work here: one, the usual leftist gun control radicals implementing a backdoor (magazine ban, rather than gun ban) law. Two, the general distrust, animus, and contempt neo-Democrats have for law enforcement officers.

According to a memo released by Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo, “The statute now provides that law enforcement officers are not permitted to possess large capacity ammunition magazines, i.e. magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously into semi-automatic firearms, unless while on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty.”

Calo notes that there is pending legislation to exempt law enforcement officers. Regardless, and setting aside for the moment I support no magazine capacity restrictions for any law-abiding gun owner, the fact the legislature didn’t automatically exempt the state’s cops is more than troubling.

And to show how well-thought-out this law is, according to Sandy Malone of Blue Lives Matter, “Under the new law, it’s technically legal for them to carry their gun home from work with them, but the minute they get home, they are breaking the law.” If that ain’t a sign of a bad law, I don’t know what is.

To add to the confusion, officers who drive their patrol cars or motorcycles home and those required to be on-duty when they leave their homes must have their duty weapons, which is now technically illegal because of this new law. And when you consider that any off-duty cop could be unexpectedly on-duty due to emergency circumstances, this puts all officers at legal risk.

As of this writing, the legislature has yet to pass the law enforcement exemption amendment. But even if it has passed by the time you read this, people across America need to know about the soul-searing stupidity and Constitution-crushing effects of such laws.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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