Carry and everything surrounding it has become beyond contentious in certain jurisdictions since the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision was handed down. While state executives and lawmakers are scrambling to get a brass ring from the DC liberal elite on who gets a work-around to the decision, ordinary citizens are having their civil liberties subverted. New Jersey was one such state that rushed out a “carry-killer” law and in doing so required a change to the training requirements. The requirements that came out were beyond the scope of what would be expected from a citizen carrier and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Cubs had one case reopened in federal court, perhaps indicating forthcoming litigation on the matter. The state seemed to have come to its senses and put out new training requirements, again.
The requirements that rolled out earlier this year – a couple of weeks late mind you – matched that of the requirements for retired police officers. The expectations were a high bar, many existing permit to carry holders would have had to requalify, and it’s likely that they would not survive under NYSRPA v. Bruen. The ANJRPC backed case, Siegel v. Platkin, was administratively terminated by Judge Marie Bumb of the New Jersey Federal district court, when the state applied for an emergency stay from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Upon the roll out of the former training mandate, which required applicants to shoot out to 25 yards, kneel, draw from and shoot from a holster under timed circumstances, and other absurd requirements, ANJRPC asked for the case to be reopened. The request was granted by Judge Bumb only hours after it was made. From there, it appears that the threat of litigation was enough to get the state to reconsider their training requirements. ANJRPC announced at the beginning of the week that there are new standards and new deadlines.
September 17, 2023. After extensive discussions with ANJRPC, the State of New Jersey has issued revised carry training requirements addressing nearly all gun owner objections and concerns. The newly revised requirements eliminated any demonstration of tactical maneuvers, eliminated a demonstration of shooting proficiency at 25 yards, significantly extended the compliance date for current permit holders to requalify, and eliminated inappropriate content from the use of force instructional materials.
The association noted that the negotiations were held between the state and two top notch attorneys. Dan Schmutter, the lead attorney handling the Siegel case, along with attorney Evan Nappen, known for his gun and knife law books, and for being rated as having the top gun rights podcast by FeedSpot.com, worked diligently to come up with a path forward that’s not a bridge too far.
Specifically, New Jersey eliminated any testing requirements for kneeling, one handed shooting, timed fire, and retention drills. Additionally, New Jersey has completely eliminated any demonstration of shooting proficiency at 25 yards, instead requiring shooting from 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards. Also, New Jersey has extended the deadline for current permit holders to requalify from October 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. New Jersey also eliminated from the “use of force” instructional materials content unrelated to right to carry, including provisions related to citizen’s arrest and use of handcuffs.
This development represents another extremely significant moment for New Jersey gun owners. The State of New Jersey has, for the second time this summer, explicitly taken steps to limit the harsh unintended consequences of erroneous rules for gun owners. It is a testimony to the newly found influence gun owners have attained in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, and ANJRPC is pleased to have been able to deliver this result.
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This work is indicative of the efficacy of a strong state association. ANJRPC’s efforts, along with the dynamos of Schmutter and Nappen advocating for the membership, yielded great results. Not having to fully go to the mattresses with the state on every issue has been refreshing, with the powers that be in the Land of 1000 Diners knowing that they’re not going to be able to win them all.
It’s not likely that the executives and legislators in New Jersey will ease off anytime soon, however they are starting to feel the effects of what a post Bruen United States means. Massive HT to ANJRPC and all-star attorneys Dan Schmutter and Evan Nappen. Kudos! to all!