Court Preliminary Enjoins New Jersey from Enforcing New Carry-Permitting Requirements and Sensitive-Place Restrictions in NRA-Backed Case

Gun Rights

In December, New Jersey passed A4769, which effectively declares the entire state to be a sensitive place, increases permit fees, uses social media posts as grounds to deny permits, and requires gun owners to acquire insurance that does not appear to exist in the state. NRA-ILA responded by filing a lawsuit with our state affiliate, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. Then in January, a court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the state from enforcing a lot of those restrictions. Today, in a 230-page opinion, the court preliminary enjoined the state from enforcing much of A4769 until the full legal proceedings are resolved.

The Court began with the new permitting requirements and enjoined the state from requiring individuals to obtain a $300,000 liability policy before they could get a carry license. It also prohibited the state from conducting in-person interviews with the applicant’s character references. The Court also limited the scope of A4769’s provision that allows the state to deny the applicant if it finds that he or she “to be lacking the essential character of temperament necessary to be entrusted with a firearm.” That now means that there is objective evidence that the individual poses a threat, and permitting agents are limited to looking at the applicant’s public statements for statements suggesting that they pose a threat to themselves of the general public. 

The Court was even harder on the new so-called sensitive places that were banned under A4769. It enjoined the state from enforcing the bans on the following locations:

  1. The default ban on private property, which bans the possession of a firearm on all privately-owned property where the public is generally invited onto, i.e., all stores and restaurants;
  2. Public gatherings and permitted events;
  3. Zoos;
  4. Parks, beaches, recreational facilities, and state parks *excluding playgrounds at any of those places;
  5. Libraries and museums;
  6. Places that serve alcohol for on-premise consumption;
  7. Entertainment facilities;
  8. Casinos;
  9. Airport parking lots and curbside drop-off and pickup *but individuals cannot take a firearm into the airport unless they immediately drop it off in a checked bag;
  10. Medical offices and ambulatory care facilities;
  11. Public filming/motion picture locations; and
  12. Inside vehicles.

The court ultimately concluded that A4769 “went too far, becoming the kind of law that Founding Father Thomas Jefferson would have warned against since it ‘disarm[s] only those who are not inclined or determined to commit crimes [and] worsen[s] the plight of the assaulted, but improve[s] those of the assailants.’”

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The case is captioned Siegel v. Platkin.

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org for future updates on NRA-ILA’s ongoing efforts to defend your constitutional rights.

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