Weekly Spotlight 5/19/23 – 5/25/23
Federal Judge Smacks Down New Jersey’s Anti-Concealed Carry Law… Again
As we’ve covered at length in recent months, the courts have become a major battleground in the fight to protect law-abiding Americans’ right to self-defense. Last year’s Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. was a significant victory for these rights, with the highest court in the land plainly stating that all law-abiding Americans have the right to carry a concealed firearm and that states may not unjustifiably interfere. Unfortunately, many states have ignored the ruling.
Earlier this year, New Jersey passed sweeping anti-gun legislation that drastically limited the places where law-abiding gun owners could carry a concealed firearm. It also required concealed carry permit holders to purchase liability insurance, a first among even the most gun control-heavy states, and increased CCW permit fees from $50 to $200. The part of the law banning concealed carry in parks, bars, casinos, and other public places was temporarily blocked by a federal judge shortly after it was implemented.
This week, U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb followed up her January ruling that peeled back parts of the unconstitutional law with yet another order striking down its onerous provisions. The latest temporary restraining order protects additional public places that were subjected to concealed carry bans, blocks a prohibition on firearms in vehicles, and prevents the state from enforcing the liability insurance requirement. Overall, it is a major victory for Second Amendment champions and responsible gun owners in New Jersey.
In her ruling, Judge Bumb noted that “what the state and the Legislature-Intervenors ignore, and what their empirical evidence fails to address, is that this legislation is aimed primarily — not at those who unlawfully possess firearms — but at law-abiding, responsible citizens.” This was plainly true from the moment this legislation was introduced, and it can be applied to nearly every iteration of extreme gun control measures being pushed by numerous states across the country.
At the USCCA-FSL, we believe that law-abiding Americans’ have a God-given right to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their communities – including with a firearm. Yet too many states, from California to Illinois to New Jersey, are attempting to restrict this right with blatantly unconstitutional laws that only punish responsible gun owners. This concerning trend will make the judiciary a key battleground for protecting self-defense rights for years to come, which is why we will continue to monitor important developments and keep you informed.
OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
A new law limiting concealed carry of guns in New Jersey suffered another defeat in federal court Tuesday as a judge ordered state officials not to enforce its tight restrictions pending a flurry of legal challenges from gun rights advocates. The ruling means New Jerseyans with proper permits are free to concealed-carry handguns at beaches, public parks, bars and restaurants — places from where Gov. Phil Murphy and his Democratic allies in the state Legislature sought to ban firearms in an effort to curb gun violence.
Three major credit card companies, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, had said they were willing to track sales at gun shops separately. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that’s not ok when it comes to customer privacy. On Friday, the governor signed a bill – CS/SB 214 – preventing credit-card companies from tracking firearm and ammo sales. Credit card companies found in violation of the bill will be fined up to $10,000. “We’ll be the first state in the country to step up to the plate and prohibit these massive financial institutions from collecting data on you, flagging you, just for basically exercising your right,” DeSantis said.
- Fox News: Democrat-controlled Nevada Legislature sends trio of gun control bills to Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo
Nevada’s Democrat-controlled Legislature passed a trio of gun control bills Monday, sending them to Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo’s desk, where they face questionable futures. Lombardo’s office has not commented on the gun bills, nor on many other wide-ranging proposals that are running through the Legislature in the final stretch of its session. One bill would raise the eligible age to possess semiautomatic shotguns and assault weapons from 18 to 21. Another would bar possession of a gun within 100 yards of an election site entrance with narrow exceptions, while also solidifying language meant to ban homemade “ghost guns.”
- Firearms Policy Coalition: FPC Challenges Onerous Maryland Gun Control Legislation in New Lawsuit
On the same day it secured a preliminary injunction against numerous restrictions on the right to bear arms in New Jersey, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of a new Second Amendment challenge in Maryland. The new lawsuit challenges multiple elements of the state’s Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) restrictions on the peaceable carry of firearms outside the home, which was signed into law today.