Outdoor ranges in New Jersey are allowed to reopen as early as Friday of this week, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, the head of a Second Amendment organization that sued over their closures says he’s “100-percent” convinced that the recent federal lawsuit is the reason for Gov. Phil Murphy’s abrupt reversal.
Scott Bach, the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, says the federal lawsuit will continue, even after outdoor ranges are allowed to reopen this weekend under social distancing guidelines, and adds that the organization may sue over the closure of indoor ranges in the near future as well.
As for Murphy’s order limiting the number of customers at “outdoor recreation businesses” like ranges to no more than ten at a time, Bach says attorneys that have examined the governor’s order for the ANJRPC believe that the limitations apply to each individual range within a complex. In other words, if an outdoor range has 50 firing ports on its pistol range, and another 50 on its rifle range, then a total of twenty customers or club members could shoot at any given time. That would be a little better than a narrow interpretation of the new regulations, and would certainly make it more feasible for outdoor ranges to reopen.
Bach says that the move by Murphy to allow outdoor ranges to reopen came suddenly and without any communication by the governor’s office beforehand, which adds to his belief that the move came about as a result of the lawsuit filed in federal court. And according to Bach, this is the second time that the governor has caved after a legal challenge to his restrictions on the firearms industry in New Jersey, with the first coming back in March when Murphy reversed course and said that gun stores could reopen after originally ordering them closed. The governor had even shut down the background check system in the state to prevent stores from selling firearms, but backed off after a lawsuit was filed and the federal Department of Homeland Security released guidance declaring that the firearms industry is an essential part of the nation’s workforce.
Will the governor reverse course on his closure of indoor ranges as well? Gun owners across the state are hoping that’s the case, and Bach says the association is weighing the right time to file suit over the extended closures, and a decision could be made in the near future.
Check out the entire interview with Scott Bach above, and stick around afterwards for more stories, including a Boston man who received a slap on the wrist for violating his probation on an assault charge, only to be thrown back behind bars after a shootout with cops over the weekend, an armed citizen in Fort Worth, Texas who defended his home against multiple home invaders, and an off duty officer in Lubbock, Texas who was able to save his neighbor after her home caught fire.