New Jersey AG Rules State's 'Stun Gun Ban' Unconstitutional



Last week, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office ruled that the Garden State’s stun gun ban is unconstitutional. According to a copy of the ruling released by the AG’s office, the stun gun ban violates New Jerseyan’s Second Amendment rights.

[T]he State agrees with defendant that New Jersey’s stun-gun statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3h, is unconstitutional in light of Caetano v. Massachusetts, 136 S.Ct. 1027 (2016), and defendant’s conviction under that statute should be vacated in the interests of justice.

During the ruling, the Attorney General’s Office cites Columbia v. Heller, the landmark Supreme Court case that protects an American’s Second Amendment right. Under the Heller decision, SCOTUS protects a person’s weapon choice, even if the weapon was not available during the writing of the Constitution. In the New Jersey ruling, the Attorney General expands upon the Heller decision:

The Supreme Court, in a per curiam ruling, has effectively extended the Second Amendment to stun guns.

The stun gun lawsuit comes after Kevin Lambert of New Jersey was charged with multiple counts of possession of cocaine, multiple counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school property, possession of a stun gun and possession of a stun gun while engaged in drug-distribution related activity.

Although Lambert never initially challenged the stun gun ban as being unconstitutional, it was brought up during his appellate court trial. Normally, these cases would have to be brought up in the lower courts; but, because this challenge involved the greater public, the state decided to sidestep the normal process.