19 States Sue New Jersey Over Gun Laws
Nineteen states have joined a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey to challenge the Garden State’s strict restrictions on handguns and its standard of justifiable need to receive a permit to carry a gun in public.
The original case was brought to court by John Drake, an owner of an ATM servicing business who was denied a permit to carry a weapon even though he requires it for protection since he deals with large sums of cash. Drake’s lawsuit was rejected by an appeals court. Since then, the National Rifle Association and 19 states have joined the lawsuit and are asking the Supreme Court to review the case.
When asked about the state’s restrictions on what justifies requiring a carry permit, Drake said “It seems unreasonable to me to have to wait until you’re beaten up or shot at to get a permit.”
The NRA and gun groups quickly piggy backed on the lawsuit. Executive director of the National Association for Gun Rights Dudley Brown told reporters that “Americans should not have to ask their government for a permission slip to own a gun. The Second Amendment is a protected right, not a privilege. New Jersey officials have overstepped their authority and New Jersey residents should have their right to self-defense upheld.”
Executive director of the NRA’s Insititute for Legislative Action Chris Cox added “New Jersey law unconstitutionally forces lawful gun owners to prove ‘justifiable need’ in order to carry a handgun for self-defense, showing specific threats or prior attacks. This is absurd. Our fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not limited to the home.”
On the other hand, many in New Jersey are telling the rest of the country to stay out of their business. NJ.com recently published an editorial, saying “States have broad powers to set gun policy, and in ours, a strong majority supports strict laws. Most New Jerseyans don’t want to have to worry that the guy they’re fighting with over a parking spot might be packing heat. That’s why you need to show justifiable need to carry a handgun here.”
(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)
The editorial also noted that Wyoming, who is leading the charge in this lawsuit, has the highest amount of gun deaths per capita over the last four years. The piece noted that “Other states complain that if our policy is upheld, it could threaten their laxer standards. Please. Do they want us meddling in their gun laws? Because they actually do threaten our citizens by making it easier for dangerous people to acquire guns and bring them back East.”
Aside from Wyoming, the other states to join the lawsuit include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.