BELLEVUE, WA – The arrests Thursday of 11 public officials, including state lawmakers, mayors and city councilmen, in communities across New Jersey shows why anti-gun politicians in the Garden State don’t want citizens to have firearms rights, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

These arrests are just the latest developments in a deeply-rooted culture of corruption that has seen more than 100 New Jersey public officials convicted on federal charges in the past five years. The FBI made the latest arrests, according to the Associated Press.

“The people of New Jersey can’t even trust their own state government to root out corruption,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Mark A. Taff. “The feds have to come in and do it. This is the kind of thing one expects from a government that works so feverishly at all levels to strip its citizens of their firearms rights.”

“New Jersey is proof positive that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” added CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It is bad enough that this latest investigation has rounded up state lawmakers, but one of the suspects, Alfred E. Steele, was even the Passaic County undersheriff.

“These people stand accused of taking bribes, which translates to selling out the public trust,” Gottlieb observed. “They will no doubt argue that they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and might I suggest that New Jersey’s law-abiding gun owners be given that same benefit of doubt, instead of being constantly regulated, and treated like second-class citizens in a state where anti-gun demagoguery is as deeply rooted in politics as is public corruption.

“If this wasn’t so serious,” Gottlieb concluded, “it might almost be laughable. But quite frankly, this is not funny at all, and it just proves a point that gun rights activists have known for a long time. Criminals will violate the law, whether it’s a gun law or an anti-corruption law. If this keeps up, they’re going to have to build a new federal prison in New Jersey just to house all the public officials who have wrongly figured they are above the law.”