Rather than heed the landmark ruling by the nation's highest court earlier this year when it comes to carry rights, lawmakers in New Jersey are seeking to make it harder than ever. 

On Monday, the Democrat-controlled New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee rubber-stamped A4769 in a 3-2 vote along party lines. The measure, unveiled last week by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Nick Scutari is billed as making New Jersey the toughest in the nation when it comes to concealed-carry laws. The legislative leaders said it was needed after the U.S. Supreme Court, in June's NYSRPA vs Bruen decision, rejected neighboring New York's restrictive "may-issue" concealed carry permitting scheme as unconstitutional.

"This legislation is designed to make New Jersey safer in response to the US Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling that, left unaddressed, would undoubtedly hinder public safety for the more than nine million residents of our state," said Coughlin. "By ensuring that individuals can only obtain a concealed carry permit after extensive review and appropriate training, we are standing up for victims of gun violence and helping to prevent future tragedies while abiding by the Court’s decision."

As detailed by the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, a state Second Amendment group, A4769 would: 

  • Ban carry in common public places by labeling them as “sensitive places." Includes parks, beaches, restaurants, theaters, stadiums, arenas, and many other common public places.
  • Ban carry inside one’s own car.
  • Bans carry at public gatherings.
  • Ban carry on all private property automatically, unless the property owner specifically posts notices specifically allowing it.
  • Significantly increase fees for purchaser credentials and carry permits, discriminating against low-income citizens.
  • Mandate liability insurance (which may not even be available) as a pre-condition to exercising carry rights.
  • Mandate a new training requirement beyond the already-difficult one that has existed for many decades.
  • Allow towns and cities to invent their own unique and inconsistent rules banning carry.
  • Limit carry to holster-only, with retention strap (no purses, fanny packs, briefcases, standard holsters without strap, or other recognized modes of on-body or off-body carry).
  • Use prior speech (like online posts) as a basis to deny purchase and carry credentials.
  • Allow denial of credentials based on purely subjective factors like someone’s “character” or “temperament.”

Other 2A groups are vowing swift legal challenges should A4769 make it to become law. Already, a similar New York law passed after Bruen has largely been stricken down by a federal court pending further review. 

"The audacity of the authors and the committee to even propose such a measure reveals the unbridled conceit and disrespect for the People they serve, the Constitution, and a misunderstanding of the role of the legislature," said the Firearms Policy Coalition in a statement. "The natural and enumerated rights of the People are simply outside the purview of The New Jersey Assembly. The right to keep and bear arms pre-exist the government itself. This right is not negotiable or subject to debate."

Banner image: Two carry classics, a Colt Agent, and a Colt Detective, both .38 special snub-nosed revolvers. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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