Attack On NJ Gun Law Will Not Be Heard By US Supreme Court
- May 29, 2014
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The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an NRA backed Second Amendment challenge to NJ’s “justifiable need” requirement to carry a handgun outside of a personal residence. New Jersey’s Handgun Permit Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4) affords substantial discretion to judges and law enforcement personnel in determining who may carry handguns in public. On the heels of District of Columbia v. Heller, 544 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010), there have been numerous challenges to gun restrictions within various states. Heller struck down the outright ban on handgun ownership in Washington D.C. and McDonald held that the Second Amendment protection used to strike down the D.C. ban in Heller applies to the various states. The NJ challengers were 4 individuals denied carry permits and 2 gun rights groups with several amici, including the NRA, on either side of the issue. The plaintiffs contended that the Second Amendment right to bear arms includes the right to protect oneself outside, not only inside, one’s residence. Further they argued that the law’s “justifiable need” standard of deciding who is fit to carry a gun and who is not affords broad discretion in law enforcement and judges to select which individuals will and will not be able to exercise their Constitutional rights. The “justifiable need” standard under the NJ Handgun Permit Law requires an applicant for a carry permit to obtain positive character references from 3 individuals of good reputation who have known the applicant for at least 3 years and then obtain approval from their local police chief. Once the application is complete, individuals seeking a carry permit must undergo background checks regarding criminal and mental history and fingerprinting. Next they must demonstrate their ability to safely handle a handgun and lastly is the highly ambiguous showing of “justifiable need” to carry a handgun. This information is all complied and a permit is issued by a Superior Court Judge only if all criteria are satisfactorily met. Without a doubt there will be further challenges to the NJ Handgun Permit Law as some argue that citizens need guns for protection while others argue that if no one has guns they cannot be used for violence. If you have a justifiable need to carry a handgun and have been denied the right to a carry permit after meeting all criteria to obtain one you should seek an experienced attorney to assist you in your matter. If you are caught illegally carrying firearms the penalties can be severe making it well worth the effort to seek a permit to carry legally. For more information about gun or weapon possession, possession of weapons during a drug related offense, armed robbery, possession of a handgun without a permit, use or possession of a gun in the commission of a crime, illegal weapons, unlawful possession of a weapon or possession of a weapon while on parole or probation visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.