NRA Sues Over NJ Carry Laws, SAF & FPC Sue Over MD Gun Ban

There’s been a flurry of Second Amendment-related lawsuits filed over the past 24 hours, with the National Rifle Association announcing a legal challenge to New Jersey’s concealed carry laws and the Second Amendment Foundation and its sister organization the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms along with the Firearms Policy Coalition suing the state of Maryland over its ban on modern sporting rifles.

Both cases are another sign that pro-Second Amendment organizations are feeling increasingly confident that the Supreme Court’s reluctance to hear a case dealing with the right to keep and bear arms is a thing of the past with Justice Amy Coney Barrett now on the bench, and the flurry of litigation could turn into a blizzard over the next few months if the Supreme Court does agree to accept one of the many 2A-related cases that are headed its way.

In Mazahreh v. Grewal, the NRA, along with the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and the Coalition of New Jersey Gun Owners, are hoping to get rid of the state’s “justifiable need” requirement that blocks average citizens from obtaining a carry license.

“It’s outrageous that law-abiding people are being denied their right to self-defense by arbitrary means,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said.

“Statistics show that self-defense situations come up quickly and without warning. Time and time again, we hear stories about good people who have saved lives because they were carrying a firearm. The state of New Jersey has no reason to deny law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights.”
A spokesman for state Attorney Gurbir Grewal, Leland Moore, declined comment on the specific lawsuit.
“However, we have consistently been successful in defending New Jersey’s commonsense firearm safety laws in the past, which protect the safety of the public and of law enforcement officers, and we will continue to do so going forward,” Moore said.
In the Maryland case, known as Bianchi, et al vs. Frosh, et al, SAF, the Citizens Committee (where, full disclosure, I serve as a board member), and FPC argue that the state’s ban on so-called assault weapons violates the clear language of the Second Amendment and existing Supreme Court precedent by banning guns that are in common use for a variety of lawful purposes.

This makes the second federal challenge filed against Maryland gun laws in recent days. The earlier action challenges the state’s concealed carry law that makes it nearly impossible for average citizens to exercise their right to bear arms. At issue are Maryland’s laws that individually and collectively deny millions of people their fundamental right to keep and bear commonly-owned arms. That case is Call, et.al. v. Jones et. al.

“Maryland has instituted laws that ban scores of firearms simply because they look like other guns, and that cannot be allowed to stand,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As we note in the lawsuit, the right to keep and bear arms includes, but is not limited to, the right of individuals to acquire, transport, possess, purchase, and receive common firearms for all lawful purposes, including self-defense. Maryland bans such firearms and there is no basis for such a ban, so we’re taking the state to court.”

“So-called ‘assault weapons’ are some of the most commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, all of which are excellent for self-defense,” explained FPC’s Adam Kraut. “Maryland’s ban on these firearms robs its citizens of their right to choose, forcing them to purchase and use firearms that may not be what is best for them, including defending their homes and their families. All law-abiding adults have a constitutional right to purchase any of the semi-automatic firearms on the market today. Maryland’s laws are unconstitutional and we look forward to vindicating the rights of our clients and all individuals in Maryland and across the United States in this case and others.”

I love seeing these particular laws challenged, which are some of the more egregious gun laws on the books. And of course, if the Supreme Court ultimately does strike down New Jersey’s carry laws and Maryland’s gun ban, those decisions will resonate far beyond the borders of those two states. With Barrett now on the bench, expect to see even more 2A litigation filed in the weeks to come, and a lot of nervous gun control activists in the meantime.