PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. – Phillipsburg is now a “Second Amendment/Lawful Gun Owner Town,” according to a resolution passed by Town Council on Tuesday night.
Town Council’s unanimous vote on the resolution expresses “its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Phillipsburg.”
The action also supports and follows the approval last week of a similar resolution by the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Phillipsburg’s resolution supports “the Board of Chosen Freeholders and its declaration that public funds of the County not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights or to aid in the unnecessary and unconstitutional restriction of the rights under the Second Amendment of the citizens of Warren County to bear arms.”
More and more municipalities nationwide are passing “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions, affirming gun ownership rights and signaling resistance to proposed gun control legislation.
Only three residents addressed the council about its resolution. Reggie Regrut cautioned them not to get involved in legal matters, saying the Second Amendment to the Constitution is well protected in New Jersey and Phillipsburg. He noted that neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump took or is taking measures to seize firearms.
Resident Joe Meyner asked the council to table the resolution indefinitely.
“It’s a constitutional issue that needs a national solution,” he said. “It’s not our business.”
Resident David Morrisette questioned what is meant by "legal" in part of the solution that mentions the council’s desire “to stand for Second Amendment rights and to support the Warren County Board of Chosen Freeholders and its efforts to oppose, within the limits of the Constitution of the United States, any efforts to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms, including through legal action, the power of appropriation of public funds, and the right to petition for redress of grievances.”
Council President Randy Piazza Jr. said that clause means anything legal within the scope of the law. “Our laws are clearly laid out for everyone to understand,” he said.
Town attorney Richard Wenner said that the resolution supports the Freeholders’ efforts to defend the Second Amendment.
Although members of the council made no other comments before the vote, later in the meeting council member Robert Fulper said the federal government should pay more attention to the medical industry instead of regulating weapons. He said many mass shooters were on SSRI antidepressants and should not have had guns.
In other matters, the council agreed to ask the town’s land use board to amend the redevelopment plan to allow a solar field at the Bridge Point 78 development at the I-78 Logistics Park, the former site of Ingersoll Rand.
Consulting engineer Brett Skapinetz, representing Bridge Development Partners, said the solar installation is planned for the landfill at the former site of the Ingersoll Rand foundry. The landfill site is not conducive to development and its best use would be for a solar installation, he said.
Outside the meeting room, Skapinetz said the six-acre landfill site, on the southwest side of the 365-acre warehouse development in Phillipsburg and Lopatcong Township, would contain 17,000 solar panels set in aluminum frames.