In his 17 years with the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Scott Bach says the group “has grown significantly in size and influence in Trenton, and is responsible for defeating most gun control legislation introduced, against nearly impossible odds.”
ANJRPC has also “aggressively used” litigation to advance Second Amendment rights, says Bach, the organization’s executive director.
Furthermore, the organization has “largely unified the Republican caucus on the Second Amendment … and led the effort that resulted in pro-Second Amendment executive actions under the Christie administration,” Bach explains, noting that New Jersey Republicans previously had voted in favor of gun control.
Serving as the NRA’s official state affiliate, ANJRPC is New Jersey’s “oldest, largest and most respected and influential Second Amendment organization,” Bach says.
One of the group’s many member benefits is free legal advice on New Jersey gun law questions, he notes. ANJRPC also created the Permitting StrikeForce project, which, according to the group’s website, “is aimed at ending, once and for all, the extensive delays, unauthorized conditions, and other widespread abuses plaguing the issuance of firearms ID cards and handgun purchase permits to law-abiding citizens” throughout the state.
“We are engaged with approximately 200 municipalities, many of which have come into compliance with the law since the activity began,” Bach says. “We are working to achieve voluntary compliance wherever possible, and then will pursue the ‘hammer’ phase … where we will use very aggressive tools, including litigation, to force compliance with those towns that refuse to do so voluntarily.”
For Bach — who learned how to shoot rifles as a boy with his father, a National Guard sergeant, then shot pistols with a friend in Montana in his 20s — it was an incident on a New Jersey hiking trail in his 30s that compelled him to own a gun.
“I became absorbed in mastery of marksmanship,” he recalls. “Anthony Colandro (Gun For Hire) gave me my first certified NRA instruction in the early 1990s and took me to Cherry Ridge Range and encouraged me to become a member of ANJRPC. I attended pistol training with Col. Jeff Cooper (Gunsite founder) and Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch). I became an activist after seeing how gun owners in New Jersey are demonized and ostracized. Former NRA President Sandra Froman became a personal friend and mentor and encouraged me to run for the NRA Board and to get involved in ANJRPC leadership.”
Front and center of Bach’s activism now is the Nov. 7 gubernatorial election, to be held weeks after the third-annual NJ SAFE in Princeton on Sept. 23.
“The question to be asking right now is, ‘How do we defeat Murphy?’ ” he asserts. “Murphy’s election is not inevitable, and he is not unstoppable. Murphy cleared the Democratic primary field of serious, well-established candidates by creating the illusion that his anointing was inevitable. Party leaders and candidates folded like a house of cards under that hallucination, handing him the nomination without a real fight. The illusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Now, Bach continues, “Murphy is trying to pull off that same magic trick in the general election: collapse the opposition with the mere illusion that his victory is inevitable and unstoppable. There are 1 million gun owners and sportsmen in New Jersey. If every one of us votes against Murphy, he loses. If every one of us also gets friends and family to vote against Murphy, he loses big.”
With the 2A community’s involvement so vital to the governor’s race, “if we swallow the propaganda and it shuts us down from taking the actions necessary to defeat Murphy, we hand him his self-fulfilling prophecy — and gun owners reap the whirlwind,” Bach concludes. “But if we remain steadfast in the face of overwhelming odds, if we unfailingly take the actions necessary to win despite the predictions of pollsters and pundits, and if we remember that we are fighting for the precious gift of freedom, which comes from above, then we surely can and will win.”
As NJ SAFE’s first platinum sponsor, ANJRPC “fully supports the event and acknowledges John Willett’s pioneering efforts to create and grow the conference,” Bach says. “We want to do our part to ensure the event’s success now and in the future. NJ SAFE is a fantastic event that should be attended by every gun owner in the state. It is an effort bring together all gun owners for education, inspiration and unification.
Attendance at NJ SAFE is only $20. Register at njsafecon.net