Democrat New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed restrictive new gun control legislation, adopted in response to the Supreme Court’s gun rights ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and almost immediately, the Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new law.
Joining SAF are the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, along with three private citizens, Nicholas Gaudio, Jeffrey M. Muller and Ronald Koons. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney David D. Jensen, David Jensen PLLC, of Beacon, N.Y. The case is known as Koon s et.al. v. Reynolds et.al.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Named as defendants are Atlantic County Prosecutor William Reynolds, Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. Macaulay, Sussex County Prosecutor Annemarie Taggart, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and State Police Supt. Patrick Callahan, in their official capacities.
According to WPVI Action News in Philadelphia, the legislation was finally approved Monday by the Democrat-led state Senate. Republicans opposed the legislation, and critics predict it will not survive a constitutional challenge.
WHYY in Philadelphia said Black gun owners in the Garden State also so not like the measure. The story quoted Newark attorney Leon Grauer, an organizer of the New Jersey Black Gun Owners Association, who stated, “A lot of people within the Black community perceive incidents, such as the killing of George Floyd, and other incidents highlighting their need for personal protection,” Grauer said. “Also, in cities that have high crime rates, particularly high violent crime rates, just as in the white community people feel empowered to defend themselves, many people in the Black community feel empowered to have a firearm to defend themselves.”
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said the quick legal challenge is justified.
“We are asking for a declaratory judgment against certain tenets of the new legislation,” he explained. “We are also seeking a preliminary and/or permanent injunction restraining the defendants and their officers, agents and other employees from enforcing the challenged segments of the law.
“The specific sections of law violate the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment,” he continued. “There is no established historical tradition that could be used to justify these restrictions. This new legislation literally criminalizes licensed concealed carry just about everywhere, making a mockery of the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment.”
Gottlieb is joined in his criticism of the law by SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut.
“New Jersey’s Legislature and Governor have shown that they do not wish to heed the Supreme Court’s guidance as to the bounds of the right to bear arms in Bruen,” Kraut said. “Despite clear directives as to a citizens’ right to bear arms, New Jersey continues to thumb its nose at the constitutional rights of its citizens in the name of ‘safety’. Such disregard for the rights of New Jerseyans will not be tolerated. As such, we are seeking to vindicate the rights of our members and the public in an expeditious manner. It is a shame the elected officials of New Jersey have no respect for the enumerated rights of the People and continue to needlessly waste their state’s tax dollars passing unconstitutional laws which render the common person defenseless.”