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Dr. Murray Sabrin, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, campaigns in Rutherford on September 3, 2018. (Photo: NJ Globe.)

Sabrin finds a pro-gun niche, likely to limited appeal

New Jerseyans overwhelmingly favor gun control

By Nikita Biryukov, September 05 2018 2:33 pm

Libertarian Senate Candidate Murray Sabrin touted the endorsement of a gun range owner on Wednesday, but such an endorsement likely has very little value in the state of New Jersey.

“It’s vital that we vote our values,” said Robert Yoder, co-owner of Atco’s Telco Sportsman Club. “As the co-owner of a gun range in New Jersey and a supporter of the Second Amendment, I am endorsing Dr. Murray Sabrin for Senate. Dr Sabrin is and has been a true supporter for the right of individuals to bear arms. I have shared time with Dr. Sabrin at the range exercising that very right.”

While that would certainly make for an effective appeal to pro-gun voters in other states, it’ll likely find few friendly ears in New Jersey, even with both major party candidates supporting certain gun-control measures.

“New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and that’s the way New Jersey Seems to like it,” said Matt Hale, a professor of political science at Seton Hall. “So, I think the fact that there’s a candidate that’s running as a pro-gun candidate, he’s going to have a very small target group of people that is interested in that issue.”

New Jerseyans largely support the state’s gun laws, and that support bleeds again party lines.

A Quinnipiac poll conducted in March found that 98% of the state’s residents supported requiring background checks for all gun buyers, and 68% supported stricter gun laws in the state. Even a majority of Republicans supported stricter gun laws, 49%-47%.

So, while Sabrin may have found a niche not occupied by either major-party candidate, there’s little for him to gain from it.

“That’s not an issue that moves votes in New Jersey,” Hale said.

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