Col. Russell is stationed at the Picatinny Arsenal, in Morris County, New Jersey, where he is a highly decorated soldier in charge of procurement, research, development, and fielding of all small arms (handguns, shotguns, grenade launchers, rifles, M-16s, sniper rifles, etc.) for the Navy, Marines and Army. This concerns sensitive information and requires years of training and clearance(s).
Under the law, military personnel are exempted regarding possession of handguns, but not at all times. Specifically, if Col. Russell carries a handgun in New Jersey while “not actually on duty,” he is not protected against arrest for unlawful possession. Thus, he applied for a New Jersey Permit to Carry.
For instance, when Col. Russell travels to and from his home and his military base, he needs a New Jersey carry license to protect his physical self, the military intelligence he possesses, and the Country.
Failure to issue Col. Russell a Carry Permit plainly puts national security at risk.
Nonetheless, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley has decided that Col. Russell does not meet New Jersey's standard of “justifiable need,” due to a lack of alleged specific threats against his person. (Link to Judge's decision available via this Charles C.W. Cooke National Review article http://www.nationalreview.com/article/435564/gun-r... .)
In addition to putting national security at risk, we believe that the Court's denial of this license constitutes a violation of Col. Russell’s Second Amendment rights under Heller and McDonald, which not only guarantee his fundamental, individual right to bear arms, but his right to self-defense. As the preamble to the Second Amendment implies, this Amendment was specifically enacted to enable individuals to defend our country, and Col. Russell is being denied his right to effectively do so in the face of actual threats from ISIS and others that he – as well as the base operations and armaments under his protection and command – face.
Please support Col. Russell, the Second Amendment, and a safer America.