(USA Features) Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy brushed aside a resident’s concerns about not being able to buy a firearm after he closed all the state’s gun stores as “non-essential” during a mandatory business closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
At the same time, the governor appeared to defend his own use of armed protection while denying residents their Second Amendment rights.
Also, Murphy said he has a “philosophical disagreement” with Americans who argue in favor of gun rights and expanded gun ownership.
“The poorest minorities living in the most dangerous cities with the highest crime rates now have absolutely no way of buying a firearm,” the man said during a recent news conference.
“I lived in Newark and I understand this firsthand. You surround yourself with armed guards, so clearly you understand the benefit of the Second Amendment,” he continued, the Washington Times reported.
“At this moment, how can a New Jersey resident who isn’t already a gun owner exercise their Second Amendment rights?” he asked.
“A safer society, for my taste, has fewer guns and not more guns,” the governor responded, adding that also includes keeping the guns that already do exist in the hands of the “right people.”
“Particularly, trained members of law enforcement like the guy to my left who’s got a pistol on his hip,” Murphy continued. “I don’t know if there’s any more color to add beyond that.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful, but it is what it is,” he added. “Crime has been down and let’s hope it stays down.”
The governor then offered to call on the man for another question so that he could “get this out of [his] system.”
“Well, it’s not in my system, it’s part of the Constitution,” the man fired back. “People do have the right to defend themselves.”
“I respect the Second Amendment,” the governor interjected.
“I understand that,” the man continued. “You have two armed guards here so clearly you understand it and respect it, but there are people who live in fear every day. We are seeing a lot of people coming forward wanting to buy a gun for self-defense and they don’t have that ability now because of your executive action.
“If less guns reduce crime, why don’t you give up your personal bodyguards and wait for police?” he asked.
“My personal bodyguards is not my decision, it’s his decision and you can deal with him offline,” Murphy said pointing at an officer.
“I’ve got exactly not one complaint from anybody that they were trying to buy a gun and they couldn’t, other than you, and I respect that, but beyond that, I am going to stay with what I’ve said already.”