NJ AG Opposes Supreme Court Review of NJ Carry Law

Today, the New Jersey Attorney General filed a brief in the Drake right to carry case, urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to take the case.  Drake is the pending federal challenge to New Jersey’s unconstitutional carry law, brought by the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), who have asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the idea that citizens should not have to prove “need” to exercise a fundamental Constitutional right.  New Jersey’s “justifiable need” standard requires the applicant to provide evidence of prior attacks or threats before a carry permit is issued by a judge – a virtually impossible standard for most people to meet.

Though less extreme in its rhetoric than in earlier phases of the case, the Attorney General in the brief essentially defends New Jersey’s carry law and tells the Supreme Court there is no reason for it to hear the case:

“[T]he Second Amendment does not prohibit New Jersey from requiring applicants to demonstrate a justifiable need before granting a permit to publicly carry a handgun. The justifiable need standard in New Jersey’s Handgun Permit Law qualifies as a presumptively lawful, longstanding regulation that does not burden conduct within the scope of the Second Amendment’s guarantee… Petitioners have failed to demonstrate that the Third Circuit’s decision here presents a question that warrants this Court’s discretionary review.”

While it is not unusual for an attorney general to defend state law, it is unfortunate to see such a blatant violation of fundamental rights be given legitimacy by bureaucrats.

“The right to defend yourself with a firearm outside the home, otherwise known as right to carry, has long been disparaged and denied in the Garden State,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach.  “We intend to change that with this lawsuit.”

“This case is extremely important because it may have a national impact on gun rights in all 50 states,” said SAF Executive Vice President and founder Alan Gottlieb. “This suit is part of our effort to win firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”

The Supreme Court will likely decide whether it will take the Drake case between April and June.  We will spare no effort or expense to restore right to carry in the Garden State and protect that right all across America.