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Conservative Review

Disarm innocents and release gun felons: Jersey City attacker had gun felonies but was released from prison

Weak sentencing for gun felons plus serving as a sanctuary for criminal alien fugitives minus the ability of peaceful citizens to defend themselves equals New Jersey?

The Garden State has become a breeding ground for repeat violent offenders who can illegally own firearms, while peaceful citizens face the strictest gun control laws imaginable. The tragic case of the Jersey City attack on a kosher supermarket, resulting in the deaths of three civilians and an ace police detective, should spawn a national discussion on weak sentencing against gun felons paired against the ineffectiveness of broad gun control on the citizenry.

The nation watched in shock on Tuesday as David Anderson, 47, and his girlfriend Francine Graham, 50 entered a Jewish food store in Jersey City and killed three civilians during a hostage/shootout situation that lasted several hours and shut down part of the city. Anderson and Graham, who are now dead, are also believed to have ambushed Jersey City detective Joseph Seals, and there’s evidence they are connected to the murder of an Uber driver in neighboring Bayonne, New Jersey.

Jersey City, like most murders, is about criminal control, not gun control

There’s been a lot of focus on their association with the Black Hebrew Israelite sect, an anti-Semitic and black supremacist cult, and the fact that this was likely a hate crime targeting Jews in an era of growing anti-Semitism. But the bigger public policy discussion should revolve around the fact that while the owners of these types of stores must remain unarmed in a state like New Jersey, a man like David Anderson, who had an extensive criminal record and firearms violations, was able to get a hold of the rifles used in the attack. If government really wants to protect the Jewish community as well as other innocent residents of New Jersey, it should focus on keeping the good guys armed and keeping people like Anderson behind bars.

It turns out that, according to the New Jersey Department of Corrections records, Anderson was charged with weapons offenses in 2004, 2007, and 2011, yet he never spent a significant amount of time in prison and mainly got probation. He was also convicted on a drug charge in December 2008 for which he served no time. In 2009, he was arrested for domestic violence in Ohio, but spent just 30 days in jail. According to the New York Post, he was picked up by Portage County, Ohio, police again in April 2011 following another incident of domestic violence, and Ohio police discovered an outstanding warrant from Hudson County, New Jersey, for violating his probation on a previous gun felony. Ohio police did their job, but when he was extradited back to New Jersey, authorities there rewarded the probation violation with … more probation. Although he was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2011, he was released after just four months.

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