New Jersey governor signs new gun law, drawing lawsuit from the NRA

Concealed Carry


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law on Thursday strengthening restrictions on who can obtain a public carry permit for handguns and where those guns can be carried, and in response, the National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit against the state.

Murphy introduced the proposal in June after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new, restrictive public carry bill into law this week, drawing a lawsuit from the NRA.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The ruling of the courts was that it is illegal to require New York applicants to show “proper cause” to carry a handgun in public. The ruling also invalidated New Jersey’s laws that had been on the books for years, restricting public carry to those who demonstrate a “justifiable need.”

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Within 24 hours of the court’s ruling, Murphy proposed legislation that strengthened statutory disqualifiers for those eligible to obtain a carry permit and expanded the list of places where firearms cannot be carried.

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On Thursday, Murphy signed the bill into place.

“Today’s bill signing is the culmination of months of negotiations between this Administration and our partners in the Legislature, delivering on the promise I made this summer to keep New Jersey safe in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s awful decision,” Murphy said. “While I strongly disagree with that decision, we must abide by it, and today’s law fully respects the Second Amendment while keeping guns out of the wrong hands and preventing them from proliferating in our communities. I am proud to sign this commonsense legislation which prohibits carrying guns in sensitive places, including our daycares, hospitals, libraries, and stadiums.”

A man drawing a gun from a leather holster on his belt.

A man drawing a gun from a leather holster on his belt.
(iStock)

Under the new law, concealed carry is not allowed in “high-density” locations, places with vulnerable populations or where there is First Amendment or government activity.

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Map created by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows constitutional carry laws by state. 

Map created by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows constitutional carry laws by state. 
(Crime Prevention Research Center)

A full list of the locations where the concealed carry permit does not function as a free pass to carry a gun can be found in the law.

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According to a press release from Murphy’s office, the only exceptions to the concealed carry law locations are for law enforcement and security guards.

“New Jersey continues to lead the nation in combating gun violence and demonstrating how common-sense gun laws help keep residents and law enforcement safe,” Attorney General Matthew Platkin said. “The legislation signed into law today, strengthens our efforts to keep communities safe by keeping firearms out of the wrong hands and away from sensitive locations, such as where children learn and play.”

The new law also restricts who is ineligible to obtain a carry permit, including those with an outstanding arrest, those subject to certain restraining orders, those who have violated a restraining order, and those subject to voluntary admissions to mental institutions or hospitals.

Damon Thueson shows a holster at a gun concealed carry permit class put on by "USA Firearms Training" on December 19, 2015 in Provo, Utah.

Damon Thueson shows a holster at a gun concealed carry permit class put on by “USA Firearms Training” on December 19, 2015 in Provo, Utah.
(Getty Images)

The application process has also become more vigorous, as four endorsements of character from non-related references must be provided with applications. Anyone used as an endorsement will be interviewed by law enforcement to determine whether the applicant is a threat to themselves or the public.

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Liability insurance must also be obtained and provided, with coverage for up to $300,000, and the application fee increased from $2 to $25.

The NRA wasted no time filing a lawsuit against the state for its attack on the Second Amendment.

“New Jersey has simply changed its approach from one unconstitutional law that allowed ‘no one’ to carry to another unconstitutional law that allows one to carry ‘nowhere,’” the lawsuit alleges. “Notwithstanding the clear ruling of the United States Supreme Court, New Jersey simply does not want ordinary people to carry handguns in public—as is their fundamental right to do.”

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“NRA looks forward to getting another win vindicating our members constitutional rights in the Garden State,” The NRA told Fox News Digital.

The lawsuit, titled Siegel v. Platkin, lists the NRA’s state affiliate, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, as a plaintiff in the case. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.



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