Some marching orders in NJ’s magazine capacity suit GVR

Four grant, vacate, remands (GVR) have been reported on since the NYSRPA v. Buren decision came down from the high court. All of the cases are being closely watched, as they are high profile. One of which is Association New Jersey Rifle, et al v. Attorney General New Jersey, et al

This particular case deals with a law signed by liberty-hating Governor Phil Murphy and creates a magazine capacity limitation of no more than ten rounds. Learning of the GVR was promising, as it should be clear as day that most laws on the books regulating firearms, or rather, usurping freedoms, will be considered unconstitutional when viewed through the history, text, and tradition lens.

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) recently tweeted about some marching orders handed down to the parties concerning the fate of the case, stating they’ve been watching it.

In a followup, FPC they provided a link to their friend of the court brief from September of 2020.

The screen shotted letter, accessible as a PDF HERE, sent out the court’s directives on the matter.

RE: Association New Jersey Rifle, et al v. Attorney General New Jersey, et al

Case Number: 19-3142
District Court Case Number: 3-18-cv-10507

Dear Counsel:

The parties are directed to file, within 20 days, letter briefs of no more than 20 pages doublespaced, with size 13 font, addressing the proper disposition of this matter in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, No. 20-843, —S. Ct. —-, 2022 WL 2251305 (U.S. June 23, 2022). Reply letters are to be filed within 14 days after the opening letter briefs; they should be no more than 10 pages, double-spaced, with size 13 font.

Does this mean that the citizens of New Jersey and those passing through are going to get swift justice? No. But it does mean that there’s movement on the horizon on all these GVRs.

The amicus brief that FPC filed is worth re-exploration. In it, they make a near ironclad argument where the history, text, and tradition test will obliterate New Jersey’s prohibitions on magazines holding more than ten rounds. Should that happen, there’s a great probability we’ll see a dismantling of all such laws, as was the case with Caetano v. Massachusetts when a GVR found electric arms were constitutionally protected.

The first known repeating arms, which fired 10 consecutive shots, date to between 1490 and 1530. A 1580 firearm could fire 16 shots.

In the 17th century, two European repeater models were widely copied and produced, including in the American colonies: Denmark’s 30-round Kalthoff long gun, and Italy’s 7-round Lorenzoni handgun.

Other repeaters were being manufactured in the colonies by the mid1600s. Repeaters capable of firing more than 10 rounds gained popularity by the early 1700s. During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress ordered repeaters that could “discharge sixteen, or twenty [rounds], in sixteen, ten, or five seconds.”

The state-of-the-art rifle when the Second Amendment was ratified had a 22-round magazine. Meriwether Lewis acquired one from a Pennsylvania gunsmith and carried it on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, frequently demonstrating it to prove that his small party could defend itself even if outnumbered. America’s Founders knew about and embraced such arms.

Repeaters with greater than 10-round capacities became some of the 19th century’s most popular arms—including the iconic Winchester and Henry rifles, followed by semiautomatic repeaters after 1885.

In the 20th century, the federal government supplied American citizens with nearly a quarter-million arms with 15- and 30-round magazines through the Civilian Marksmanship Program, in addition to numerous 30-round magazines the program issued independently of firearms. American history and tradition prove that the Second Amendment protects such arms.

It looks like Governor Murphy may have to eat some serious humble pie, as the law he signed doing this to New Jerseyans looks like it’s in severe peril. With the FPC et.al. filing this brief, they found historical accounts of weapons with more than 10 rounds dating back to the 16th century. Wishing good luck to Murphy’s team in trying to defend that. Not really.

It’s an exciting time in American history. Some might say we’re looking at several make or break moments. I tend to err on the side of make. Ironically, the famous signage on the Lower Trenton Bridge reads “The World Takes, Trenton Makes”, as it’s usually Trenton that does the taking…taking away our most fundamental liberties one bad law at a time.