It’s taken me over a month to come to grips with the results of the November election. While on the surface nothings changed, Murphy still sits in the governor’s mansion and the Democrats still control both houses, the Senate and Assembly. Everything has changed for sportsmen.
For the past 16 years that I have worked for and with the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance one thing has remained constant. Through four years of Corzine, eight years of Christie and four years of Murphy, Senator Steve Sweeney has been our buffer between the anti-hunting legislators and the organizations who are constantly working to do away with hunting and trapping. As Senate president Senator Sweeney was able to block the passage of a flood of bills based on emotion and false information and only allowed bills that were backed by research and sound biology to move forward. Sportsmen lost that protection on November 2, 2021 when Senator Sweeney lost his bid for re-election to the Senate. There are several reasons for that loss and I would like to address one of the major reasons, the NRA. For the first time the NRA gave Senator Sweeney an “F” rating thus encouraged its members in New Jersey to vote against him. Several days after the election I received a call from a friend of mine who lives in Salem County and is a member of the NRA. I will paraphrase his call. Well Ed, you finely get to work with Republicans. We finally got rid of Sweeney. I pointed out to him that the Republicans were still the minority party and asked him if he knew what he was in for. I proceeded to tell him that I felt that after January 6, 2022 we would see a constant stream of legislation aimed at doing away with hunting and gun ownership in New Jersey. Well Murphy did not wait for the new term to start. Last week he introduced the tip of his firearms iceberg in the form of eight bills. Only two of the bills are new, the other six have been bottled up in the Senate for years by guess who?
True to his word even after the NRA worked for his defeat, Senator Sweeney will not post several of the most toxic bills for a committee vote. This protection for Sportsmen from bad unneeded legislation ends on January 5, 2022.
I can only hope that the NRA continues to take credit for Sweeny’s defeat and the firearms chaos that is going to follow. Either the State organizations were totally uninformed as to the work being done by Senator Sweeney or they blindly followed the advice of the NRA after the national organization gave him an “F” rating. If they would have taken the time to understand the dynamics of New Jersey politics they would have been able to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
The time for reflection is over. What we must do now is figure out a plan moving forward and attempt to stop the bleeding before the patient dies.
Over the next several months you will receive several requests to join and support the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. When you support these two all-volunteer organizations, they not only understand the issues that are important in New Jersey, every penny donated goes to educate, support and provide accurate information to our elected officials in New Jersey
Its time to Join, donate and take an active part in defending our rights to hunt, fish and trap before they are taken from us by the Murphy Administration. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, please pass this on to your friends who hunt, trap and fish. Stay tuned, more to come.
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance.