FPC Challenges New Jersey’s Firearm Purchase Permit Requirements in New Second Amendment Lawsuit

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Camden, NJ (March 22, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of New Jersey’s laws that require individuals to be granted a permit before acquiring a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. The case, Kendrick v. Grewal, can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

Under New Jersey law, it is a crime for a law-abiding individual to obtain a rifle or shotgun without first obtaining a Firearms Purchaser Identification (“FID”) Card or handgun without a Permit To Purchase a Handgun (“Handgun Purchase Permit”)—and must obtain a new one for every purchase. Both processes involve complicated applications and multiple fees. And approval frequently takes far longer than New Jersey law allows. The State’s regulatory scheme imposes a complex, costly, and time-consuming process riddled with delays and road blocks before an individual can even obtain the permit necessary to acquire a firearm to begin exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The plaintiffs’ complaint argues that “[t]hese restrictions on firearm acquisition are unconstitutional on their face.” Indeed, they say, the “Second Amendment has the same scope today as during the founding era. … A requirement that law-abiding citizens obtain government permission—for a fee—before acquiring a firearm would have been foreign to the founding-era understanding of the right to keep and bear arms.” Thus, FPC joined with three individuals, Bob’s Little Sport Shop, Inc., Second Amendment Foundation, Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc., New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners to strike down the unconstitutional regulations.

“We are excited to have assembled this coalition of plaintiffs to challenge New Jersey’s draconian permitting regime that requires individuals to pay fees and obtain a permit before they can exercise a fundamental, enumerated constitutional right,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations. “The State’s unconstitutional laws burdens and chills the right to keep and bear arms, preventing individuals from acquiring firearms for lawful purposes including self-defense. New Jersey’s laws do not withstand constitutional scrutiny and we look forward to a judgement eliminating these restrictions.”

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“New Jersey’s unconstitutional laws are offensive to human liberty,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “No one should be forced to beg the government and get permission before exercising their human rights. This lawsuit is about eliminating these restrictions and giving back to the People their power of choice.”

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates for the right to keep and bear arms and adjacent liberties, actively litigating dozens of major lawsuits including federal Second Amendment challenges to California’s ban on “assault weapons” (Miller v. Becerra), Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh), California’s handgun “roster” and self-manufacturing bans (Renna v. Becerra), Maryland’s firearm carry ban (Call v. Jones), New Jersey’s firearm carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s firearms carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and others, with dozens more cases being prepared. To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

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