Federal judge says Phil Murphy’s concealed carry gun restrictions unconstitutional

New Jersey Statehouse - Photo 158110771 © Chris Boswell | Dreamstime.com

Bronson Winslow on January 30, 2023

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Reneé Marie Bumb issued a second temporary restraining order blocking parts of New Jersey’s concealed carry law, stating that the state and the public are not interested in enforcing unconstitutional laws.

According to the ruling in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey Camden Vicinage, Bumb temporarily suspended the law from preventing guns from being seized in “sensitive places” such as casinos, public libraries, museums, bars and restaurants serving alcohol, entertainment facilities, private property, unless otherwise indicated by owners, and private vehicles. The law was passed by lawmakers in December, which requires residents seeking concealed carry permits to purchase liability insurance and take training courses, in addition to raising permitting fees and prohibiting firearms in sensitive areas.

“Defendants cannot demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support these challenged provisions for which they have demonstrated Article III standing. The threat of criminal prosecution for exercising their Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury on behalf of Plaintiffs, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws,” Bumb wrote in the ruling.

In early January, Bumb first ruled that portions of the law violated the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents, opting to rule in favor of a temporary restraining order on the “sensitive places” portion of the law. Bumb based her ruling at the time on the belief that the state did not have the “historical tradition” of regulating where a concealed carry permit can be used.

The first partial temporary restraining order was in favor of the plaintiffs in the Koons v. Platkin case, and Bumb ruled in favor of enjoining the two cases moving forward, according to the ruling.

New Jersey’s concealed carry law was first implemented after the Supreme Court’s ruling in the New York State Rifle And Pistol Association v. Bruen case. The ruling set a precedent for gun laws in the U.S. and established the need for “historical tradition” in court rulings for Second Amendment cases, according to the ruling.

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The bill received bipartisan criticism, with Republican state Sen. Michael Testa calling the bill “absolutely wrong” and Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Sacco saying it is unconstitutional and will face legal challenges, according to NJ.com.

LEGAL ALERT: A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against more “sensitive places” in New Jersey’s Bruen response bill, including parks, beaches, recreational facilities, and casinos. https://t.co/gIzcyw8eac pic.twitter.com/E94UVTI7jo

— FPC Action Foundation (@FPCAction) January 30, 2023

New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the law was rushed through the Legislature in an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court.

“The federal judge’s ruling, which validates what we have been saying, is a victory for the 2nd Amendment and the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves both in public and in private. We look forward to the offending provisions of the law being permanently struck down,” he said.

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