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Number of Handgun Permits Issued in 2013 Up Sharply in Lacey

71 percent surge in permits mirrors state trend

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
More Lacey residents applied for handgun permits in 2013 than any other year in recent history, statistics showed.

The number of handgun permits issued by the Lacey Township Police Department in 2013 was up a staggering 71 percent over 2012, according to data released Thursday by Chief David A. Paprota.

The department processed and issued 867 handgun permits in 2013, up from 506 handgun permits processed and issued in 2012.

The rising number of permits issued has been a trend since 2005, data provided by Paprota shows. In 2005, there were 191 permits issued, with the number hovering around 200 for several years. In 2009, the number of permits issued jumped to 354, dropped slightly to 289 in 2010 and rose to 398 in 2011. Then, in 2012, there was a marked rise to 506.

But 2013 was the department's busiest year yet, with 867 permits issued.

The Lacey numbers are following a statewide trend, despite New Jersey's gun laws that are among the more restrictive in the nation. A Wall Street Journal article published in September looked at the numbers through June 2013 and found that permits were up 67 percent statewide, mirroring the ultimate figures in Lacey.

Gerry Morey, a firearms dealer in Bayville, told the Journal that business was "absolutely ridiculous" and most sales were to hunters and people who wished to own guns for home protection.

While firearms are permitted in homes in New Jersey, few qualify for a permit to carry a firearm under state laws.

"The handgun permits are issued based on strict criteria established under state law," said Paprota. "Each application requires a comprehensive background check which is handled by the Lacey Township Detective Bureau and processing by Records Bureau personnel. Ultimately, each applicant's background investigation report is reviewed by the Chief of Police and signed for issuance to the resident."

Though there are sometimes delays in the permitting process, Paprota said they are often caused by circumstances out of the control of the local police department.

"Police department personnel diligently worked through the significant increase in applications in 2013," he said.
The Captain January 10, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Hopefully this will send a clear message to the would be bad guys that here in Lacey we are armed and willing to protect our family if you try a home invasion. Now we just need to get this state in line with most of the other 50 and allow our law abiding citizens to carry if they choose to instead of making them sitting ducks. Just as our second amendment already says we can. Even if most people choose not to criminals will be less likely to take that gamble like what they did at the Short Hills mall last month when they murdered that poor guy in front of his wife. Just remember, criminals dont get permits to carry before they car jack someone or murder them. And them KNOWING you are not allowed to carry makes you PREY for them. Its not rocket science.
grace January 10, 2014 at 09:16 AM
this should be a lead story maybe deter some burglaries of us citizens...
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM
The Captain and Grace are exactly right. Chief Paprota says: "Each application requires a comprehensive background check which is handled by the Lacey Township Detective Bureau and processing by Records Bureau personnel. Ultimately, each applicant's background investigation report is reviewed by the Chief of Police and signed for issuance to the resident." The state background check is completely superfluous; a waste of time and money and is intended to act as an obstacle to potential buyers. Before anyone in the nation can walk out of a gun store with a weapon, they are already forced to have their social security number (now known as your national identification number) run by the FBI through NICS (which I think stands for National Instant Criminal Background Check System) Also, NJ's effective ban on concealed carry is a direct violation of the Constitution of the US. Every time Chief Paprota and his officers arrest someone for doing nothing other than carrying a gun, they are facilitating NJ's violation of the Constitution and are in effect supporting tyranny.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Grace - It was our lead story this morning. That thought was in my head as well. ;)
Dennis January 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Only the law abiding get permits.
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 01:24 PM
@Dennis: with respect to purchases, that is true. With respect to concealed carry, that is false. It is virtually impossible for a law abiding citizen to get a concealed carry permit. They must show that there is an imminent threat of violence to themselves as well as have their lives and intentions torn apart by not only the state and town, but by the judicial system as well. It is absurd; it is contrary to the Constitution and it is contrary to nature. Enforcement of these immoral laws is the primary reason these violations persist.
The Captain January 10, 2014 at 01:26 PM
Robert, there was JUST a lawsuit won against a local NJ PD up north for adding stuff (photo ID) to the handgun purchase application which really goes off to the state police after the references are verified. Many towns do this type of stuff on their own illegally because they can. Just like they dont approve carry permits because they can and often illegally go past 30 days to approve permits because they can. Having several cops in the family I understand its the system but it IS tyranny like you said. And it looks like people are fed up with it and no longer willing to put up with it. I guess with so much freedom being taken away lately all over the country its opened peoples eyes and lessened their tolerance. Luckily Lacey is pretty good but the laws need to change and the horrendous firearm approval system. The second amendment is NOT null and void and it is the supreme law of the land. You shouldn't need to be arrested and spend 50 grand on an attorney to get it upheld.
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 01:53 PM
@The Captain: That is great to hear about the North Jersey lawsuit. I agree with everything else you said; you are exactly right.
Michelle Finne Richardson January 10, 2014 at 02:55 PM
Fact is, if someone has a gun legal or not and some idiot tries to beak in or steal your property on your property, you have the right to defend yourself and family by any means. Just because you are supposed to get permits etc, does not mean everyone does. Look at Camden and other cities people get shot everyday and often no charges are brought stand your ground, self defense, it is reality!
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 03:26 PM
@Michelle Finne Richardson: while I wish that were true, I am not sure that it is. Perhaps the Lacey PD can chime in here. I could be mistaken, but I do not think you need a permit to own a handgun; you just need a permit to purchase a handgun in NJ. And while you do have the right to defend yourself in your house, you do not have the right to defend yourself anywhere else that is not connected with a piece of property. This natural and constitutional right has illegally been taken away by the state of NJ. I would appreciate the Chief's rationale as to how he justifies participation in and enforcement of this illegal and unconstitutional restriction.
Dennis January 10, 2014 at 03:55 PM
@Robert Yates:your right Robert but I don't think the PD gets involved with making the law but are bound to enforce it, no matter if they agree or not. Also the law does not even give you full rights to protect yourself in your home. You must prove escape was not possible.
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 04:14 PM
@Dennis: I see what you are saying, but that obligation only goes so far. I hate to us such an extreme example, but I bet that is precisely what the members of SS told themselves as they disarmed the Jews prior to holocaust. There is never an excuse for enforcing a immoral law. It leads to a soiled conscience and corrupt society.
Robert Yates January 10, 2014 at 04:17 PM
correction: "use", "the" "an"...sorry it has been a long day.
The Captain January 10, 2014 at 06:38 PM
Actually you are no longer needed to RETREAT in NJ but NJ is NOT a stand your ground state. But it IS a highly political and liberally controlled state so you never know what is going to come down on you for defending yourself. Look at what happened to Zimmerman in Florida of all states. And with political pressure from Washington like in that case ANYTHING is possible. ESPECIALLY here. Up north NJ even more so. Here in Ocean county at least most people know what a gun is or know someone that has one. North NJ is just like an extension of NY. Most cops around here are gun guys and hunters too and think a lot like us but like u said need to enforce the law even if they dont agree with it. You are NOT required to register long arms OR handguns regardless of what most people think. You are required to apply for a handgun permit to purchase one from a dealer. If you have questions just go to the NJSP website. All the laws are listed. Regardless of how ridiculous and complicated many of them may be. Not to mention unconstitutional.
The Captain January 10, 2014 at 06:49 PM
Just remember this statement. Its better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6. Use your brain and defend yourself and your family if you truly feel the need. Just be prepared to sell your home to pay for your defense here in NJ. But if it saves your life or someone in your family its well worth it. Regardless of how totally screwed up and insane that scenario would be.
grace January 10, 2014 at 06:51 PM
@ captain i am actually afraid to be home alone these days...
The Captain January 10, 2014 at 10:17 PM
Grace I understand with the way things are these days and with all the burglaries, heroin addicts, and VIOLENT home invasions starting to get very close by like the one that just happened in Brick I think. Not to scare the crap out of you. Not sure your age or what your capable of but a big dog, alarm system, or having a gun and a little training would go a long way to help your fear. Mom is in her 70's and she never liked guns until they moved out west. Everybody has one and carries one plus the cops are 40 miles away. THEY even encourage carrying a gun. So of course crime is very very low and mom loves going shooting now and loves carrying and the safety she feels now when dad is out. My sister lives close by and she loves it too now!
Joey Joe January 11, 2014 at 04:57 AM
@The Captain, @Robert -- I totally agree with you both... I believe @Captain when he said concealing a weapon and then using it to protect your family or self will cost you $50K in legal...and also agree it's better to face a jury of 12 then to be carried by 6. I can only wonder WHEN the insanity of concealed weapon laws in NJ stop. As for myself - I'd rather face a jury than see my Wife, one of my Kids or Grand Kids suffer at the hands of someone who has no regard for life.
grace January 11, 2014 at 09:36 AM
@thanks at captain you seem to be a nice guy and i appreciate you and your comments..maybe i will keep alarm on all the time and take a crack at that shooters place in barnegat..the gun and ammo kind not the alcohol kind...lol
Matt Janicek January 11, 2014 at 02:44 PM
Does anyone know the phone number for the Lacey Township Records Dept?
The Captain January 12, 2014 at 08:11 AM
Matt its probably the police business line 693-6636. Thanks Grace, no problem. Shooters is pretty good. Besides handguns a SHORT (18.5" barrel) 20 or 410 guage shotgun I recommended also for home protection. They are usually less expensive (especially used) and you dont have to go thru getting a permit to buy it and can leave with it that day once they run a quick NICS (background) check of you have your firearm ID card already. Some of the advantages are that the pellets dont go nearly as far and are far less likely to hurt an unintended target, its much easier to hit your target, and JUST racking the PUMP sometimes is enough to make your attackers run away without having to shoot them. I know I certainly would run. The drawbacks are that its harder to keep locked up and therefore slower to get to if you have kids around. If you dont then you can just hide it. Just make sure you use bird shot or game loads and NOT high brass,long shells, or slugs. Although home protection is important NOTHING is more important then keeping it out of the wrong hands. Especially young inquisitive ones. Not to mention its a felony to keep a loaded gun within easy access to a minor. Not to mention if you have screwy relatives or friends staying there minor or not. Then its a good idea to keep it away from them. Dont we all have screwy friends and relatives!

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