New Jersey judge strikes down concealed carry law

May 17, 2023

A federal judge in New Jersey blocked much of the state's new draconian concealed carry law, citing the Supreme Court's landmark ruling last year upholding the Second Amendment.

The sweeping law, enacted by Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, makes it a crime for law-abiding people to carry firearms in most public places.

Judge Renee Marie Bumb found the sweeping restrictions violated the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court's ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which struck down a New York law requiring citizens to demonstrate a special "need" to carry.

Draconian gun ban blocked

Democrats in New Jersey responded to Bruen by removing a similar "need" requirement in the state's laws, but they devised an expansive new list of "sensitive locations" where it is illegal to carry in public.

Bumb slammed the restrictions as an attempted workaround the Supreme Court's ruling in Bruen, which held that citizens have a presumptive right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. The ruling struck down gun control schemes that are untethered to "historic tradition."

"Clearly, the State disagrees with Bruen,” Bumb wrote. “But it cannot disobey the Supreme Court by declaring most of New Jersey off limits for law-abiding citizens who have the constitutional right to armed self-defense.”

The judge struck down many of the state's "sensitive place" restrictions, including at zoos, public assemblies requiring a government permit, and public film sets.

She reaffirmed previous rulings that blocked restrictions at parks, beaches, recreation facilities, libraries, museums, bars and restaurants serving alcohol, and entertainment facilities, but she allowed restrictions in some places, like playgrounds, to stand.

Some restrictions stand

Bumb also allowed most of the state's new permitting restrictions to stand, finding they were legitimately aimed at preventing dangerous people from getting firearms.

Those requirements include new statutory disqualifiers for people who are "likely to engage in conduct....that would pose a danger to self or others" or who are "found to be lacking the essential character of temperament necessary to be entrusted with a firearm.”

"This Nation has historically disarmed dangerous individuals or individuals who could endanger the public with a firearm," she wrote. 

Bumb expressed some concern that a requirement for applicants to forfeit "other information," including public online posts, could be abused but she let it stand, so long as it is limited to "objective evidence on the applicant’s dangerousness and risk to the public safety."

She also blocked a requirement for gun owners to purchase liability insurance. Murphy condemned the ruling as "misguided and erroneous," while the state's Democratic attorney general, Matt Platkin, claimed it leaves the state "powerless to protect New Jersey residents."

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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