IT TOOK 8 YEARS OF LITIGATION TO GAIN ACCESS TO NJSP FIREARMS APPLICANT INVESTIGATION GUIDE
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDES BELOW
The New Jersey Second Amendment Society received Judge Hurd’s order denying NJ’s motion for summary judgement against the New Jersey State Police, granting NJ2AS’ motion for summary judgement, and subsequently ordering the State of NJ to provide New Jersey Second Amendment Society with unredacted copies of Attachments A, B and C to the 2005 New Jersey State Police Firearms Applicant Investigation Guide.
It took 8 years since we first filed our lawsuit to gain access to the guide. Here are some of the highlights:
NJ2AS compelled NJ to admit that the guide is the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all municipality police departments regarding the processing of firearms permit applications and the issuance of permits. This proved invaluable during Operation Establish Compliance, where NJ2AS was successful in getting nearly 30 separate townships to drop their illegal additional requirements and, in the process, our undercover videos and recordings caught the attention of the Christie Administration and eventually led to FARS, NJ’s automated permitting system.
During our first appeal, NJ2AS, remarkably, in conjunction with the ACLU, was successful in forcing the State of NJ to revise its regulation exempting Law Enforcement SOP’s from disclosure under OPRA. The regulation was a component of the codification of Governor Christies’ Executive Order 47. The regulation was revised to only exempt SOP’s or parts of SOP’s that would cause harm if released.
New Jersey Second Amendment Society lost at the superior court level and was denied the entire guide, but then won on appeal. The case was remanded back to the original judge with instructions to give us a redacted copy of the guide, based on their ruling and the new regulation. NJ2AS was awarded over $100,000 from the court for legal fees.
Back at the superior court, the redactions were in two parts. The first part was content deemed to be investigatory in nature, and therefore exempt from OPRA. The second were the attachments which were letters from the AG’s office containing guidance. These letters were deemed to be “attorney client privileged” and therefore, exempt from OPRA.
NJ2AS appealed. The “investigative procedure” portion was upheld and the “attorney client” portion was remanded back to the superior court.
At our third appearance at the superior court level, Judge Hurd, out of patience and unwilling to be overturned a third time, granted our motion for summary judgement.
If anything can be learned from our recent victory, it is that NJ2AS absolutely will not stop, ever, until all unconstitutional infringements on our right to keep and bear arms in NJ are gone. We will seek out and expose every violation, every person who is complicit in those violations and every government entity that participates and/or covers them up. We will bring into the light the negative impact of NJ’s poorly worded and over-criminalized legislation. We will use any and all legal means available to do so.