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HomenewsNew Gun Laws in New Jersey Have Been Challenged in Federal Court

New Gun Laws in New Jersey Have Been Challenged in Federal Court

A federal court did not decide after hearing arguments on Thursday morning over whether to accept new temporary restrictions to a recently passed gun control bill in New Jersey.

In a lawsuit filed against New Jersey, pro-gun rights organizations alleged that the state’s restrictions on carrying firearms in sensitive places were unconstitutional and in violation of the Bruen decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Jersey’s gun laws were overturned by the highest court, but it gave authorities the ability to put restrictions on where guns are allowed.

Judge Renée Marie Bumb deliberated on Thursday over whether to temporarily enjoin gun restrictions in hospitals, movie sets, zoos, and other locations not covered by a restraining order issued on January 9. Both instances were combined.

Daniel Schmutter, an attorney for Aaron Siegel and other plaintiffs who filed the broader legal challenge, claimed that state bans on carrying concealed weapons in parking lots of sensitive locations mentioned in the bill would leave gun owners in a state of ambiguity because it is unclear how that provision applies to shared parking lots.

Schmutter was likewise troubled with multi-purpose structures. According to him, gun owners are unsure if they may bring a pistol inside a building that also houses a doctor’s office and a company that permits concealed carry.

The law has to specify that “it’s just a doctor’s office, no other component of the building is restricted, and if it’s a shared parking lot, the parking lot’s not barred,” according to Schmutter.

Gun owners would not be prosecuted if they accidentally entered a restricted area, said deputy solicitor general Angela Cai.

New Gun Laws in New Jersey Have Been Challenged in Federal Court

A School’s Definition

The plaintiffs pointed out that the gun statute does not specify what constitutes a school, and the parties sparred briefly over whether institutions would be subject to state limitations on firearms in schools.

According to the plaintiffs, this causes uncertainties for several businesses, such as Sunday schools and organizations that teach music, like the School of Rock.

State officials pointed out that schools are subject to laws from the Departments of Education and Higher Education that do not apply to other organizations, such as martial arts studios, gun safety seminars, or classes for bible study.

Even though Mrs. Smith refers to her home as Mrs. Smith’s School of Bagpipes, Cai disagreed that the location qualified as a school.

Before a subsequent hearing on preliminary constraints, Bumb proposed the parties reach an agreement on a definition.

Government and Private Property

State attorneys once more defended a law provision that Bumb briefly banned on January 8 and which prohibits gun owners from carrying guns on private property whose owner has not granted express approval.

The state asserted that certain aspects of the gun bill do not involve the Second Amendment due to case law about the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The state asserted that concealed carry permit holders could be subject to exclusion from their property under the long-standing right of property owners to do so, regardless of whether the property owners are aware of the gun owner’s views on firearms. Both verbal and written warnings are not required by statutory trespassing regulations, the state stated.

In the Bruen ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that gun rules must be in keeping with the country’s long history of regulating firearms.

New Gun Laws in New Jersey Have Been Challenged in Federal Court

Attorneys for New Jersey have contended that a 1771 state law prohibiting people from carrying firearms on property they do not own without the owners’ permission demonstrates that the new legislation’s analogous provision satisfies the Bruen test.

Bumb had previously dismissed the 1771 law, claiming it was an anti-poaching law rather than a gun control measure.

However, Cai argued on Thursday that because the law forbids the use of firearms on private property without the owner’s permission and makes no mention of poaching, it is still relevant to the discussion surrounding the new gun law.

Schmutter responded by claiming that the 1771 statute was meant to promote the main goal of protecting deer and other game and that its section about guns on private property is an anti-poaching law.

He pointed out that lawmakers frequently create legislation to assist in the enforcement of other laws, citing the present restriction on carrying uncased guns in automobiles. According to him, this rule is in place because New Jersey forbids hunting from automobiles.

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That kind of regulation approach is prevalent in New Jersey. I don’t find it surprising that they tried to do it in 1771 since they do it all the time,” he added.

The state also asserted that since it competed with private enterprises, the government might copy the restrictions it had put in place.

She added: “We don’t think it’s rational to suggest the government can’t similarly prohibit firearms on public buses when the government happens to be competing with the private bus service — and this is all about whether or not the Second Amendment even supports this restriction.

Bumb’s previous interim restraining order prevents the new law’s sections that forbid locals from carrying concealed firearms into public libraries and museums, pubs and restaurants that serve alcohol, and sizable entertainment venues like stadiums and concert halls from being put into effect.

It’s unclear when Bumb will decide on the plaintiffs’ fresh request for a temporary restraining order. Four days after the initial restraining order hearing, she issued a ruling.


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