In the ongoing legal battle concerning a New Jersey gun law, a Sussex County man who brought a lawsuit against the State for its “justifiable need” provision was recently denied a hearing by the United States Supreme Court.
Under current NJ law, residents must prove a “justifiable need” to law enforcement when requesting a permit to carry a concealed firearm. After Sussex County resident John M. Drake filed a lawsuit challenging this provision, a panel for the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his appeal.
Drake subsequently united with a similarly concerned group of citizens and petitioned for the case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Drake’s case garnered support from a host of organizations, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), the New Jersey Second Amendment Foundation, and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. In addition, 19 states issued their support. Those states backing Drake’s petition included Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
This week, Drake’s request was denied when the Supreme Court did not grant a writ of certiorari. This means that the Court will not hear the case. In the United States legal system, a writ of certiorari orders a lower court to deliver its record regarding a case to be reviewed by a higher court. With Monday’s ruling, the Court confirmed that the 1968 New Jersey law will remain in effect.
Although the Drake case has seen multiple changes to the parties involved since it was first initiated in 2010, the underlying argument challenging the New Jersey Supreme Court’s application of the Second Amendment has remained largely unchanged. We will have to wait and see if further challenges to the state’s strict gun policy will compel legal changes in the future. Until then, NJ gun laws will endure as some of the most stringent in the nation.
For more information, read the NJ.com article entitled “NJ Man, Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court, Says Handgun Lawsuit Just ‘Kicking Can Down the Road.’”