A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against numerous parts of New Jersey’s Bruen response bill, calling it “plainly unconstitutional.”
“The Constitution leaves the States “some measures” to combat handgun violence. But what the Second Amendment prohibits the States from doing, and what the State of New Jersey has done here with much of Chapter 131, is to “prevent law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.” That is plainly unconstitutional,” U.S. District Court Judge Marie Bumb wrote in the conclusion of her 235 page report.
The ruling means New Jersey citizens can carry handguns at beaches, public parks, bars and restaurants, provided they have the proper permits.
Today’s order follows an earlier decision which likewise blocked several provisions of the law, signed by Governor Murphy late last year, from taking effect and applies for the duration of the litigation.
Judge Bumb, a Bush appointee, slammed the Legislature in her ruling, saying lawmakers essentially ignored the second amendment when writing the law.
“The legislative record reveals the Legislature paid little to no mind to Bruen and the law-abiding New Jerseyans’ right to bear arms in public for self-defense,” she wrote.
“Clearly, the State disagrees with Bruen, 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,” she added.
The court’s opinion also makes the argument that restricting law abiding citizens from lawfully obtaining a gun, does not prevent gun violence.
“[T]he State has failed to offer any evidence that law-abiding responsible citizens who carry firearms in public for self-defense are responsible for an increase in gun violence,” she wrote.
The judge also blocked another provision that required some applicants to be interviewed in-person, writing that such a requirement is “unduly burdensome.”
Asked by TLS last November whether he thought the bill would stand up in court, New Jersey Governor Murphy said he was confident the then-revised bill would stand up to any potential legal challenges.
“I hope so. I normally wouldn’t talk about bills that are not on our desk, but this one is important to all of us,” he said at the time.
“We are very concerned about the Supreme Court’s steps initially, and then also in staying New York’s laws,” Murphy continued.
Reacting to the decision, New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin called it “devastating for public safety.”
“Today’s decision is devastating for public safety. Over and over, the evidence has shown that keeping firearms out of sensitive places will keep our residents safe, and our elected officials passed sensible laws to do exactly that,”Platkin said.
“But the court now insists that we are powerless to protect New Jersey residents, and proclaims that the Second Amendment requires allowing guns at parks and beaches, in libraries, at public gatherings, in zoos, and even in bars, among other sensitive places. This decision is bad constitutional law and bad for New Jersey,” he continued, adding that “[w]e will be appealing immediately.”
Also included in her decision was an order to halt the requirement for gun owners to purchase liability insurance, which the new law mandated.
Concealed carry permit holders would have been required to obtain a liability policy worth at least $300,000 in minimum coverage for bodily injury, death, or property damage stemming from their public use of a firearm.
The judge however kept in place the new process for obtaining a carry permit, finding the state’s new requirements for firearms training did not conflict with the Second Amendment, which provides for reasonable restrictions on who can carry a gun.
The law includes a provision that if any part of it is overturned, the rest will remain.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
This is crazy totally crazy. The Government aren’t serious about Your 2nd Amendment right. The NJ Government have serious problem they are using you to force you take away your guns. Excuse me this is United States not Russia. Here NJ Government take away your plastic bags, self serve and force you wear mask in Hospital!!!! Guess what you are breaking our constitutional freedom.
The Democrats passed a blatantly unconstitutional law knowing that it was so, also knowing it would eventually be overturned. But keep voting for the bag banners.
We left NJ for Florida 7 years ago. The gun laws here are rather lax. We can carry at the beach, at the library, at a restaurant, even at a bar. I assure you, the streets here are not stained red with blood as Murphy and his cohorts would have you believe. We do not need the government to protect us and keep us safe. The less help we get from them, the better off we all are.
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