A new wave of concealed carry restrictions passed post-Bruen could be in trouble as a federal judge on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction against a controversial New Jersey law.

Garden State lawmakers last December rushed a bill described by both supporters and those opposed as perhaps the "toughest in the nation" when it comes to concealed-carry laws to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk. Besides drastically increasing costs and fees for permits and expanding training requirements, the new law – added as Chapter 131 to the books – banned carry in most places including one's car, all private property unless specifically allowed, public gatherings, and several “sensitive places” to include arenas, parks, beaches, restaurants, and theaters. 

This week, a federal court, in reply to a lawsuit against the ban –Koons v. Platkin – said the list of restrictions likely doesn't square with the recent Bruen case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected neighboring New York's restrictive "may-issue" concealed carry permitting scheme as unconstitutional. 

"Bruen required the State to bring its firearm laws in compliance with the Second Amendment,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Renee Bumb in her 235-page opinion. “Chapter 131 was the State’s response, but it went too far, becoming the kind of law that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson would have warned against since it ‘disarm[s] only those who are not inclined or determined to commit crimes [and] worsen[s] the plight of the assaulted, but improve[s] those of the assailants.’”

The Koons case was brought by four individuals – Ronald Koons, Nicholas Gaudio, Jeffrey Muller, and Gil Tal – backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners, and New Jersey Second Amendment Society. In it, the plaintiffs argued the updated New Jersey statutes boiled down to a prohibition against carrying handguns for self-defense outside the home, even with a slightly easier-to-get permit than was once available.
 

 

"FPC is thrilled with today’s outcome,” said FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack in a statement emailed to Guns.com. "New Jersey lawmakers appear intent on continuing to thumb their noses at the mandates of  the Constitution, but today the Court issued a resounding ‘No.’"

Meanwhile, Janet Carter, senior director of issues and appeals at Everytown Law, argued the New Jersey law that placed most areas off limits to lawful carry "is entirely consistent with the Second Amendment," and vowed to "help fight this dangerous decision on appeal."
 

Add Maryland to the lawsuit list


Meanwhile, just a jog down the coast from New Jersey to Maryland, the FPC and SAF announced a new lawsuit against the state’s new Senate Bill 1 restrictions on the peaceable carry of firearms outside the home, the same day it was signed into law by Gov. Wesley Moore before a crowd of T-shirt-wearing gun control advocates. 

“SB1 was enacted in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen last year,” SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb told Guns.com. "Instead of trying to comply with the new guidelines set down in that decision, Maryland lawmakers scrambled to make gun laws more restrictive than they were before. Indeed, the additional restrictions make it nearly impossible to legally carry firearms for personal protection, even on public land. This is government regulation at its worst."

The Maryland complaint is Novotny v. Moore.

Banner image: Springfield Armory SA35 in its natural habitat. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

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