Two legal gun owners who have jumped through repeated governmental hoops only to be denied permits to carry a handgun have teamed up with pro-2A groups to take on the Garden State.
The 47-page federal lawsuit, filed this week, is backed by the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, and New Jersey Second Amendment Society on behalf of two members, Stanley Bennett and Michael Hucker. Both men are over 21 years of age and meet legal eligibility requirements for gun carry permits, but have been turned down by local police for such permits with the agencies issuing a blanket statement that the applicants didn't have a “justifiable need."
Bennett, who never "had so much as a parking ticket in over 40 years," owns a federally licensed gun store and lawfully transports firearms to and from locations. He was turned down for a carry permit by the Clayton Police Department after a nine-month wait.
Hucker, who owns a real estate business where he sometimes carries large amounts of cash and works for a Fortune 100 company, a role in which he could face kidnapping, applied for a carry permit from the Guttenberg Police Department in Oct. 2018 and was turned down in Feb. 2019.
The two men and their allied pro-gun groups are suing the respective police departments as well as the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey and the Superintendent in the New Jersey State Police in their official capacities, arguing the state's regulatory scheme deprives them of their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
“The people of New Jersey have been oppressed by an abusive, authoritarian government for far too long, and we intend to remedy that beginning today,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “Our nation fought the Revolutionary War to forcefully reject the Crown’s heavy-handed rule and denial of fundamental liberties, including the right to bear arms, but the State has regressively called back to that tyranny as inspiration for its current policies.
"Governor Murphy, Attorney General Grewal, and other anti-rights government officials may not like that people have the right to carry loaded guns in public, but their opinion doesn’t trump the Constitution. It’s time to bring freedom back home to the Garden State,” said Combs.
The lawsuit is known as Bennett v. Davis and was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.