An appeals court last week upheld a previous ruling that a man could be denied a permit to purchase firearms because of his wife’s criminal history.
The two-judge panel found that the Burlington County man, whose name was withheld due to privacy restrictions, should not be granted a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, which is required under state law to buy a gun, citing that his Constitutional right to own weapons was “subject to reasonable limitations.”
The court maintained that his possession of firearms in the same home as a convicted felon would allow her access and create an unacceptable threat to public health, safety, and welfare, as reported by the Associated Press.
According to the appellate court’s decision, the woman, who had three prior felony convictions on drug charges and drunk driving, was also the subject of a domestic violence complaint in 2011 reported by her husband.
“Specifically, the judge found that [the man’s] wife’s background raised serious concerns about her living in a house with firearms, even if owned by her husband, who states he will keep them locked up and out of her control,” noted the court.
Nevertheless, the man testified to the court that his wife “received help and was no longer drinking,” to which the court maintained that her drunk driving conviction stemmed from 2013 and she was subject to relapse.
New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, which even includes mandatory registration and permits to purchase BB guns and refuses to honor concealed carry permits issued by neighboring states.
These laws have in recent weeks been thrown under the microscope following the brutal murder of a Camden woman who was stabbed to death in her driveway by an ex-boyfriend while she waited months for a permit to purchase a firearm for self-defense.
The woman, Carol Bowne, 39, had filed for a FPIC card in April and both purchased a security system and obtained a protective order against her killer while the paperwork to buy a gun was processing. According to reports, she checked on the status with her local police department just the week before her murder. Her assailant later hung himself inside the home of another ex-girlfriend.
Bowne’s death led to protests by Second Amendment advocates at home of New Jersey Senate president Stephen Sweeney.