New Court Ruling Casts Doubt on NJ Gun Control Laws


A new court ruling regarding who can and cannot own a firearm may have effects on New Jersey’s gun control scheme. The case came out of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, the same circuit that New Jersey is in, which means that this ruling is now the controlling law in New Jersey.

The case, Binderup v. Attorney General, brought by supporter and sponsor of NJ2AS, the Second Amendment Foundation, was brought before the entire 3rd circuit in an en banc hearing centered on two men who were denied their right to own a firearm over past non-violent convictions. Neither men had ever been incarcerated for their crimes, yet were still denied their right to own a firearm under federal law since their crimes could have resulted in jail time, but did not. While the justices did not strike down the whole federal law, they did rule that these individuals Second Amendment Rights were violated under the statute and ruled that, in this case, the law was unconstitutional when applied to these two men.

Indeed, the court stated:

“Where the Second Amendment’s guarantees apply, as they do for Binderup and Suarez, ‘certain policy choices’ are ‘necessarily’ taken ‘off the table.’ Forever prohibiting them from possessing any firearm is one of those policy choices,” the appeals court said in today’s ruling.

Very nice of the courts to recognize, as said in Heller v. DC, that the Second Amendment takes certain policy choices off the table. In recent court cases it seemed that many courts, including New Jersey’s, had forgotten that part of Heller. 

You can read the full case here.

How this Affects New Jersey

 New Jersey generally follows Federal Law in regards to who can and cannot own a firearm or get an FID, but as NJ2AS has documented on camera, here and here, New Jersey denies people that otherwise would legally be allowed to own a firearm by granting issuing authorities wide discretion to deny permit requests.

This wide discretion mostly comes from NJAC 13:54-1.5(a)5 which states that an FID or permit to purchase a handgun shall not be issued

…to any person where the issuance would not be in the interest of the public health, public safety, or welfare.

If that sounds broad, meaningless and rife for abuse by issuing authorities, that’s because it is. This is precisely the law that the officers in our undercover videos are relying on when they deny permits to the elderly, the disabled, and women just because of who they are. But it also allows them to deny people like those in the SAF case listed above. Since we’ve seen that New Jersey routinely denies people with no criminal record their right to own a firearm, anything on your criminal record including traffic violations could result in your being denied your rights. 

This has to stop.

The NJ2AS legal team is currently analyzing this case to bring New Jersey’s gun laws into compliance with this ruling, and finally bring to an end New Jersey’s out of date, discriminatory and unconstitutional FID system. Our interest is in defending, protecting, and preserving New Jerseyeans right to keep and bear arms and we will use all available tools to achieve that goal. 

We will keep you updated on any developments related to this case. 

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