N.J. Gun Owners File Suit To Overturn One-Handgun-A-Month Purchase Limit

shootingNew Jersey gun owners took a parting shot at the waning administration of Gov. Jon Corzine today, filing a federal lawsuit challenging his one-handgun-a-month law, claiming it is unconstitutional and that some towns already make it impossible to obtain one pistol in six months. The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, a Gloucester County sports shop and a Morris County gun-owner filed the action contending the law, signed by Corzine in August to limit handgun purchases to one per person, per month, is preempted by federal gun statutes.

The lawsuit also accused Corzine of failing to adequately address the concerns of gun collectors, competitors, dealers and people who inherit guns through a task force the governor set up to develop exemptions to the law.

Certain exemptions were included in follow-up legislation Corzine signed last week. But the lawsuit contends unspecific and unfair requirements have been set for gun collectors to apply to the superintendent of the State Police to review each multiple gun transaction.

“Lawmakers blatantly broke their promise and turned the task force into a task farce when it came to protecting the constitutional rights of honest citizens. Their actions forced us to sue, and have now jeopardized the very existence of their feel-good law,” said Scott Bach, president of the rifle and pistol association.

“Typical gun-extremist nonsense,” said Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ, a gun-control organization. “This is typical of the gun lobby — never satisfied, always seeking to have everybody armed. … I think the court will probably throw this frivolous suit out.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, contends lawmakers failed to established a workable procedure by which a law-abiding collector may obtain an exemption from the State Police, now required under the new law, to obtain either a pair of matching handguns or purchase the collection of another hobbyist. The lawsuit also contends Corzine’s task force failed to address the fact that, even before the one-handgun law went into effect, local police in New Jersey who process handgun permits took “two to six months or longer” to approve a permit for a single handgun purchase.

The lawsuit contends police departments, such as Washington Township in Morris County, are already misinterpreting the new law by refusing to even process more than one handgun permit application per month. New Jersey’s gun laws, among the toughest in the nation, require a person to obtain a police-issued permit for each handgun purchased and each permit application requires a series of state and federal background checks, including fingerprinting.

Collectors have historically submitted more than one permit application at a time, anticipating delays. A Washington police spokesman deferred comment to Chief Michael Bailey, who was out for the holiday today. A Corzine spokesman was unavailable for comment. Star Ledger.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. ppl dont need lots of guns. 2 guns a yr is plently. who buys so many guns a yr….. i only have 2. we need to defend our houses. but if u cant change a tire urself dont get on at all !!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!!

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