In New Jersey, residents who want to transport firearms legally must request a permit from a local law enforcement office and produce a letter stating why it is necessary for them to carry a gun. In other words, New Jerseyans have to prove need before exercising what many Americans consider a constitutional right.***
Now, protesters across the state are organizing a push for an appeal for the court’s ruling. A “Free Brian Aitken” Facebook page has almost 7,000 fans, the website briandaitken.com was built and a rally will be held Dec. 12, in Towns River, N.J. Aitken’s family is asking Chris Christie to grant clemency — gun control just might be the next test conservatives throw at the New Jersey governor.
A pardon from Christie is far from assured, even if he does have fairly established, conservative credentials.
During his 2009 campaign, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity, “Listen, at the end of the day, what I support are common sense laws that will allow people to protect themselves. But I also am very concerned about the safety of our police officers on the streets. Very concerned. And I want to make sure that we don’t have an abundance of guns out there.”
A lot of people are watching this case, and are hoping that the Governor does the right thing.
Tim Lynch, president of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice, agreed. “This is a guy who seemed at every step, was trying to do the right thing,” he told TheDC. “This was an overreaction from arrest to prosecution … seems to be an exercise of extremely poor judgment.”
“When you look at it from the totality … no serious person could think that he’s [Aitken] a criminal, that he was doing anything other than trying to take his lawful possessions and move with them to New Jersey,” Neily said. “What else was he supposed to do with them?”
Both Lynch and Neily said without hesitation that Christie should pardon Aitken. Neily even went so far as to say this single issue could change his entire opinion of Christie – someone he has so far supported.
The Caller reports that Christie is aware of the case, and a formal application for pardon has been received. A spokesman for the governor declined to comment any further.