Supreme Court signals interest in New Jersey concealed carry challenge

The nation’s high court on Tuesday took a step to show they aim to weigh the merits of a challenge to New Jersey’s strict “may issue” concealed carry laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week asked New Jersey officials to respond to a petition filed by a state resident allied with gun rights advocates. The case, that of Thomas Rogers and the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, had been turned away by the state’s own supreme court, setting the stage for the current appeal to the federal bench.

“While the move is not a guarantee that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the appeal, the fact that the court is requiring NJ to take a position on ANJRPC’s request is significant, and signals that the court is not willing to take any action without first hearing from both sides,” said the pro-gun organization in a statement.

Rogers, according to court documents, meets all the guidelines under New Jersey state law to obtain a permit — but cannot show evidence of a direct or specific threat to his life. In other words, even though he was threatened and robbed at gunpoint in the past and currently manages an ATM business, a job that requires him to service machines in high-crime areas, police say he does not have a justifiable need to carry a gun.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, joined with attorneys general and governors from 22 other states, are now on his side, and have filed a supporting amicus brief last month urging the high court to take up his case.

The response from New Jersey, who had previously ignored the appeal, has to be submitted to the court by March 21.

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