In an ongoing legal battle concerning a New Jersey gun law, 19 states have issued their support to a group of NJ residents who are challenging the law.
Several residents have formed an alliance to challenge a specific provision in the law which requires citizens to demonstrate a “justifiable need” to law enforcement when requesting a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
The legal challenge began when a Sussex County man filed a lawsuit contesting the provision. However, he lost in court, and a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel of three judges then rejected his appeal last summer. The plaintiff, Sussex County resident John M. Drake, subsequently united with a similarly concerned group of citizens last month in an effort to fight the appeals ruling and bring it before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has written an amicus brief in support of the case. The New Jersey Second Amendment Foundation and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs are also participating by offering their support for the appeal. Other 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 with the parties involved since then, the underlying argument challenging the court’s application of the Second Amendment has remained the same.
In addition to the aforementioned legal challenge, a man from Manalapan, NJ 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 that the NJ 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.”