NJ Gun Laws Facing Legal Challenges from Host of Opposition

By Travis Tormey posted in Gun Charges on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

concealed weapons permit.jpgIn an ongoing legal battle concerning one of New Jersey’s gun laws, nineteen states have issued their support to a group of New Jersey residents who formed an alliance to challenge one specific provision, which requires citizens to prove a “justifiable need” to law enforcement when requesting a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

After a Sussex County man filed a lawsuit challenging this provision, a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel consisting of three judges rejected his appeal last summer. The plaintiff, Sussex County resident John M. Drake, subsequently united with a similarly concerned group of citizens in January, requesting to bring the Appeals ruling before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has written an amicus brief in support of the case and the New Jersey Second Amendment Foundation, as well as the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, are participating. The states providing their support include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Wyoming is leading the charge, with the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office serving as legal representation for the coalition of states. As such, the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office recently submitted a request to the Supreme Court to schedule a hearing for the case. According to their legal brief, the concerned parties believe that the New Jersey appeals court ruling has the potential to threaten the less-stringent concealed carry laws currently enforced in other U.S. states.

In 1968, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided that individuals are not entitled to the citizen’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting these rights to citizen militias. Although the current Drake case, which was originally opened in 2010 by Newton resident Jeffrey Muller, has seen multiple changes within the parties involved since then, the underlying argument challenging the court’s application of the Second Amendment has sustained.

In addition to the aforementioned legal challenge, a man from Manalapan has also filed a lawsuit concerning New Jersey’s gun laws, and oral arguments before the New Jersey Supreme Court are pending. According to the attorney serving on his behalf, the case represents the first time in 45 years in which the New Jersey Supreme Court will be forced to rule with regard to its laws on gun-control.

For more information pertaining to this matter, access the following article: 19 states join legal fight against New Jersey’s concealed weapons law


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