NJ gun group’s challenge to new law a broadsword to hack up the measures

NJ gun group’s challenge to new law a broadsword to hack up the measures
(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

On December 22, 2022, surrounded by commie mommies and other suck-up gun grabbers, Governor Phil Murphy signed what’s been colloquially known as the “carry killer” bill. Cam reported on that news last week, and I offered up information about the path forward for pending carry applications. Cam also reported there have already been two challenges filed to see the unconstitutional law is reversed. One of the two challenges is a real kitchen sink approach to attacking not only the new law, but will also affect longstanding other portions of the statute. Minutes after the Murph signed A4769, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs  (ANJRPC) filed Siegel et.al. v. Platkin et.al

I read the complaint and it’s good. The suit was written and filed by Daniel L. Schmutter, from the Hartman and Winnicki law firm, on behalf of the Association. This is not the first time I’ve said this about Schmutter, and it’s likely not going to be the last, but his work is nothing short of brilliant, and it shows in the 59 page document.

To bring everyone back up to speed, what does the new law do? In part, according to the Association, the new law does the following:

Among many other things, this legislation would unconstitutionally:

  • Ban carry in common public places by labeling them as “sensitive places.” Includes parks, beaches, restaurants, theaters, stadiums, arenas, and many other common public places.; 
  • Ban carry inside one’s own car; 
  • Ban carry at public gatherings; 
  • Ban carry on all private property automatically, unless the property owner specifically posts notices specifically allowing it; 
  • Significantly increase fees for purchaser credentials and carry permits, discriminating against low-income citizens; 
  • Mandate liability insurance (which may not even be available) as a pre-condition to exercising carry rights; 
  • Mandate a new training requirement beyond the already-difficult one that has existed for many decades; 
  • Use past online posts as grounds to deny purchase and carry permits; 
  • Allow denial of permits based on purely subjective factors like someone’s “character” or “temperament.”

The complaint wastes no time to set the record straight on how out of touch the new law is in comparison to what the High Court had to say back in June.

The State of New Jersey has, apparently, not gotten the message. Having lost the ability to suppress the fundamental right to bear arms in public through its now dead and buried “justifiable need” requirement, New Jersey has shifted gears and has made a permit to carry a handgun utterly useless.

The state of New Jersey, that being the elite ruling class of the legislators, as well as his highness, Governor Phil “gonna run for president got a new hairdo” Murphy, got the message, but have been acting like petulant children ever since. In great need of a woobie, Murphy shrieked at a press conference about how wrong the radically conservative Supreme Court got it. An inconvenient truth, which is pointed out on page 10 of the complaint, made it clear that the peasants of New Jersey are to be allowed their pitchforks.

The Court made clear that, by default, the people have a fundamental right to carry handguns, and they have the right to do so in most places and under most circumstances. That is, public carry of handguns is the rule, not the exception. [emphasis added]

Murphy’s response was acknowledged in the filing. Schmutter, early on in Murphy’s carrying on about the SCOTUS opinion, made a similar connection that many astute studies of history have. In the brief, Murphy’s connection to racist former Governor Wallace, will forever be on the record.

Like his predecessors in the Southern states in 1954 in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education, Governor Murphy blasted the Supreme Court’s decision upholding fundamental constitutional rights and vowed to find ways to undermine and/or circumvent the effect of the ruling.

If you listen closely to Murphy talk about the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision you can hear whispers in the background, “…segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.”

It was noted, “In other words, the Governor announced his clear intention to resist the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bruen in any and every way possible.” and that “Bruen holds that the Constitution precludes a State from broadly preventing law abiding from carrying a handgun in public.”

Governor Murphy actually did not have to do much during his outburst, as his bidding was sloppily executed by several gaff-filled moments by his followers. Some of those gaffs made it right into the complaint.

A4769 co-sponsor Assemblyman John McKeon illustrated this intention perfectly in a hearing before the Assembly Judiciary Committee:

Do you really — do either of you, does anybody really want to put more guns in the hands of people that live in Paterson and Newark and Elizabeth and Camden . . . ?

McKeon’s racist remarks about the people who live in the cities he named was not quite overshadowed by other examples of stupidity highlighted by the process. Assemblyman Joe Danielsen’s famous inability to point out exactly where a lawfully permitted citizen would be able to carry their firearm under the new law made an appearance in the complaint.

A4769 is so comprehensive in where it bans the carry of handguns, primary bill sponsor Assemblyman Joe Danielsen was asked by his colleague Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn at a committee hearing where could a person carry her handgun. Danielsen’s answer: “My job is not to tell you where guns can go.” [emphasis added]

Reading through Siegel et.al. v. Platkin et.al. gave a good rundown on how blatantly unconstitutional the law is.

Looking at what exactly is being challenged, we have the myriad of sensitive places that have been defined on where individuals cannot “carry” their firearm. Challenged within those sensitive locations, the vagueness of “carry” was pointed out:

Further, this provision purports to regulate a completely undefined activity called “carry.” There is nothing in this or any other New Jersey law that defines what it means to “carry” a firearm as opposed to, say, possess or transport. No one could reasonably know what the criminal prohibitions relating to “carry,” actually refer to.

The law was so sloppily slapped together that they did not even define what “carry” means, versus regular possession.

Also on the to-do list to see overthrown:

  • The insurance (that does not exist) they’re requiring permitees to have.
  • The massive fee increases for both permits to carry and all other firearm related paperwork.
  • The scrutiny of an applicant’s social media posts.
  • The chilling of First Amendment protected activities.
  • The onerous new requirements to be met in order to get a permit.

Some of the new requirements are linked to previously existing law, also subject to scrutiny. Noted on page 22 of the complaint:

A4769 further amends N.J.S. 2C:58-3 to provide as a basis for denial where a person is:

known in the community in which the person lives as someone who has engaged in acts or made statements suggesting the person is likely to engage in conduct, other than justified self-defense, that would pose a danger to self or others,

But all of the foregoing are utterly standardless, reflecting the utterly subjective nature of the permitting process, in violation of Bruen’s requirement that any permitting process be based solely on objective criteria and inviting unbridled discretion in violation of the DueProcess Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The old section of law deals with issuing authorities electing to not grant permits under a community caretaking provision.

This disqualifier is based on the prior version of N.J.S. 2C:58-3(c)(5) which provided as a disqualifier merely “not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.”

I recently covered a case that, depending on which is decided first, will affect or be affected by this lawsuit. The crux of the M.U. case is the caretaking provision.

My personal favorite portion of the new law that’s being challenged has to do with near constitutional carry being granted to a special class of citizens.

Finally, as if to add insult to injury, in blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, A4769 creates a special gold-plated category of individuals who warrant special treatment under the law: judges, prosecutors, and attorneys general. Section 8 of A4769 creates a whole new exemption under N.J.S 2C:39-6, exempting judges and prosecutors from not only the so-called “sensitive place” restrictions in A4769 section 7 but from all of the firearm restrictions in N.J.S 2C:39-5.

Accordingly, not only can judges, prosecutors, and attorneys general carry handguns into schools, museums, zoos, and casinos, but they can carry machine guns into all of those places now as well (see N.J.S. 2C:39-5(a)). [emphasis added]

There can be no possible constitutional basis to allow judges, prosecutors, and attorneys general to carry a firearm into such places but not regular folks.

The suit has a slew of plaintiffs, all of which are restricted under the new law. Whether we’re talking about the carrying of firearms in parks, zoos, or other entertainment venues, or in possible schools or places of medical practice, the sensitive places restrictions are going to be torn to shreds. The financial burden as well as the subjectivity of the licensing process will not hold, nor will many portions of former law concerning firearms identification cards and pistol purchasers permits. Sections of the fish and game code are also under scrutiny, and it does appear that the hollow point ammunition restrictions might be caught up in this mix.

This case is a kitchen sink challenge to so much more than our elite nobles could have imagined. Had they just took the loss, the state and members of the anti-freedom caucus would not be staring at irrecoverable wounds that will need licking in the future.

In their blind hubris, Murphy and his gang have essentially shot themselves in the feet. The lawmakers who advocated for and and voted for this law will go down in history, on the wrong side of history, and will be branded racist, sexist, elitists, no better than former Governor George Wallace. ANJRPC’s Executive Director, Scott Bach best summed up how bad of a move this was:

“By signing this legislation, Gov. Murphy has effectively ended any chance of ever being elected to higher office outside of New Jersey, and has confirmed that the Constitution is indeed ‘above his pay grade,'” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “Not only will this legislation go down in flames, but the Murphy administration will end up paying the very substantial legal costs of gun owners to bring it down.”

This is only a broad stroke covering the litigation that is a broadsword. The finer points and details are worth a read, for those who are interested. What’s more than abundantly clear is that this is not going to go unchallenged. In the process of dismantling what little shreds of liberty the people of New Jersey had, the elitists have awakened the beast of the silent gun owners. They are pissed, they are organized, and they’re not going to stop challenging these laws and this administration.

Congratulations Governor Murphy, you’ve just energized a sleeping giant. Assemblymen Joe Danilesen and John McKeon, good luck when running for reelection. New Jersey does not take kindly to sexists or racists. “Those people” certainly don’t.

For more information about the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, be sure to visit https://www.anjrpc.org/. For a rundown of the new law and what it means to permit holders, attorney Evan Nappen gives his analysis of the changes. It was further announced that on December 23rd the Association filed for an injunction.

December 24, 2022. Late yesterday, ANJRPC filed a motion in the carry lawsuit seeking to immediately halt implementation of portions of the Garden State’s new carry-killer law while the case proceeds. If granted, the motion would put portions of the new law on hold for a time as the lawsuit unfolds.

CLICK HERE and then scroll to item “2” to see the motion papers, which are well worth the time to read.

While we do not yet know when the motion will be decided, several similar motions were granted in the similar pending challenges to New York State’s own new carry-killer law. Please stay turned for further updates and alerts for the latest developments.

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Gun owners can join the fight by clicking here to donate to this historic lawsuit.