- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The state of New Jersey told an Army officer dealing with terror threats at Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton that there is no “justifiable need” for him to have a concealed carry permit.

Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell, the product manager for the Army’s Individual Weapons and Small Arms program, requires a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance for his job. The base where he works was chosen as a terrorist “dry run” for a a Vehicle Borne Improved Explosive Device, and hackers have tried to obtain information on personnel.

Regardless, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus still denied the solider a permit, a decision ultimately backed last month by Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley.

“None of these threats appear to specifically relate to this applicant — he is in no different position than any other person who is assigned to that facility,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a Jan. 29 letter to the judge after Col. Russell appealed the police chief’s decision, New Jersey radio station WKXW-FM reported Friday.

Mr. Gramiccioni said that if Col. Russell were granted a permit for protection, then others stationed at Picatinny Arsenal would apply using the same rationale.

Lt. Col. Russell holds a senior position at the base, the station reported. He also has 27 years in service.

Though the soldier’s attorney, Evan F. Nappen, argued that the denial “puts national security at risk,” the judge sided with the police department at an April 5 hearing, thanking Col. Russell for his service before rejecting his appeal.

“Jersey sucks,” one of the station’s readers wrote Sunday in response to the news. “End of story. Move to a state that actually recognizes the 2nd Amendment because every single criminal and thug has a weapon — and you don’t.”

“This is why many of the so-called ‘common sense regulations’ are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Bottom line: You can’t trust the government — state or local,” added another.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Lt. Col. Russell was 27 years old instead of having 27 years in service.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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