New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed new gun control legislation Thursday specifying who can carry handguns and where those firearms can be carried.
The new law was created in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that revamped the gun permitting rules to acquire a firearm last summer, but the new law set off lawsuits against the measure by Second Amendment activist groups.
The high court ruled on the N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case that it was illegal to require New York applicants to prove “proper cause” to carry a handgun in public, and, as a result, the ruling voided New Jersey’s “justifiable need” mandate.
A day after the court’s ruling, Mr. Murphy proposed further gun control legislation related in response to the court’s decision. The bill widened the list of disqualifiers of those who could legally carry a firearm and expanded the list of places where firearms could not be carried.
“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,” said Mr. Murphy, a Democrat.
Similar to New York’s legislation, the New Jersey law prohibits the carrying of firearms in “high-density” locations, sites with vulnerable populations or where there is First Amendment or government activity. Exemptions are made for law enforcement and security guards.
“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,” Mr. Murphy said. “I am proud to sign this commonsense legislation which prohibits carrying guns in sensitive places, including our daycares, hospitals, libraries, and stadiums.”
However, Second Amendment advocacy organizations, including the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition, filed suit against the New Jersey law the moment Mr. Murphy put pen to paper.
“The NRA sued the state of New Jersey while Gov. Murphy was signing this bill because the legislation will not stand up to constitutional scrutiny,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told The Washington Times. “This legislation flies directly in the face of the Supreme Court ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen. It essentially makes carry illegal in New Jersey.”
Other states, such as New York, California, Massachusetts and Maryland had similar statutes and updated their gun permitting laws following the Supreme court decision.