SAF Challenge to New Jersey Carry Law Climbs Through Appellate Courts

Drake, et. al. v. Jerejian, et. al. (formely Muller v. Maenza & Piszczatoski v. Maenza)

The Second Amendment Foundation filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against several New Jersey officials for deprivation of civil rights under color of law.  This case seeks to reaffirm and enforce the Second Amendment’s core guarantee of “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 592 (2008). More specifically, the case is a civil rights challenge to New Jersey’s restrictive handgun licensing scheme which allows government officials unchecked discretion in deciding who has shown adequate “justifiable need” and may therefore exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm for self-defense.

The case was then appealed the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Here is a link to the oral arguments. The Third Circuit’s decision is available here.

On January 9, 2014, SAF and its fellow plaintiffs filed a petition asking the United States Supreme Court to review this case.   SAF’s news release regarding the filing of the petition is available: U.S. SUPREME COURT ASKED TO CONSIDER SAF, ANJRPC RIGHT TO CARRY CASE .

This case is particularly important because of all of the United States Courts of Appeal issuing rulings on the Second Amendment, since Heller, only the Third Circuit, in this matter, has actually held that the Second Amendment does not secure, or even touch, the right to carry a handgun, “the quintessential self-defense weapon.” This interpretation is in clear conflict with the decisions of other circuits and, more importantly, imperils the Second Amendment rights of all citizens.

On February 12, 2014, a 19 states, 34 members of congress and a number of other groups filed amicus briefs supporting SAF’s petition at the Supreme Court.

On February 25, 2014, SAF and the petitioners filed a supplemental brief informing the court of a recent 9th Circuit victory in the Peruta v. San Diego case.  The brief is available here.