A federal judge ruled Monday that part of New Jersey’s concealed carry gun law, which dictates where a concealed firearm can be carried, is unconstitutional.
District Judge Renée Marie Bumb placed a temporary restraining order on the law’s “sensitive places” restrictions, saying they violate the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents, according to the ruling. Bumb based her ruling on the belief that the state did not have the “historical tradition” of regulating where a concealed carry permit can be used. (RELATED: Judge Completely Blocks Oregon’s Restrictive Gun Law)
“Plaintiffs have shown that Defendants will not be able to demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support any of the challenged provisions,” Bumb wrote in the ruling. “The deprivation of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws.
“Accordingly, good cause exists, and the Court will grant the motion for temporary restraints,” she continued.
New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the law was rushed through the Legislature and is 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.
A spokesperson for Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the ruling an “errant” decision from a “right-wing federal judge,” according to Politico.
The “sensitive places” restriction was modeled after New York’s concealed carry law, and prohibits concealed carry at schools, public parks, courthouses, bars and private property, according to the legislation.
“This is another example of the important precedent found in language in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling last June,” Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said in a release obtained by the DCNF. “Clearly, New Jersey lawmakers have gone too far in crafting a law to get around the high court’s decision.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling in the New York State Rifle And Pistol Association v. Bruen case set a precedent for gun laws after the Supreme Court ruled that New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional, according to The Reload. The ruling blocked New York’s “special need” requirement that made residents provide a specific reason to get a concealed carry permit and established a need for “historical tradition” in court rulings for Second Amendment cases, according to the ruling.
Murphy, who pushed for the bill following the Bruen decision, said he is prepared for “the gun lobby and its acolytes” to “take us to court to block these common sense measures,” according to Politico.
“The Attorney General and his team are fully prepared to forcefully defend the constitutionality of this bill,” he continued.
FPC VICTORY ALERT!
In our Koons v Reynolds case challenging multiple aspects of the New Jersey’s Bruen response bill that banned carry in numerous “sensitive” places, the court has issued a TRO halting enforcement pending a ruling on our motion for preliminary injunction. pic.twitter.com/a7ei1FG9e6
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) January 9, 2023
Alongside the “sensitive places” restriction, lawmakers and activists are concerned with the law’s updated language for who can have a concealed carry permit, according to The Reload.
The “good moral character” restriction, which allows individuals to be denied a permit if they are not of “moral character,” was changed from the original “good reason” restriction that required applicants to provide a reason for a concealed carry permit.
This story has been updated with comment from New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho.
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