Murphy administration files appeal after federal judge blocks concealed carry restrictions

The ruling means that gun owners in New Jersey can legally carry their weapons at public gatherings and inside casinos, zoos and bars – at least for now.

Matt Trapani

May 17, 2023, 10:57 PM

Updated 392 days ago

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New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin has filed an appeal after a federal judge put on hold most of the state’s laws restricting the concealed carry of firearms.
The ruling means that gun owners in New Jersey can legally carry their weapons at public gatherings and inside casinos, zoos and bars – at least for now.
Platkin said that this ruling puts New Jersey at risk and Gov. Phil Murphy said it is “misguided and erroneous.” But gun rights advocates are cheering the decision.
“I never fear a good guy with a gun. We have a right to protect ourselves and I think it’s’ going to make New Jersey safer,” says Republican state Assembly Member Hal Wirths.
The laws, which were passed last year, kept guns out of airports, beaches, hospitals and parks.
But Federal Judge Renee Marie Bumb wrote that New Jersey, “…cannot disobey the Supreme Court by declaring most of New Jersey off limits for law-abiding citizens who have the constitutional right to armed self-defense. That said, this Court finds that most of the new legislation’s firearm permitting requirements are consistent with the Second Amendment.”
Republican lawmakers in Trenton were skeptical of the bill’s restrictions from the beginning. They engaged in spirited questioning of Democratic Assembly Member Joe Danielsen, questioning what was referenced by the judge in her ruling.
“Anyone with a law degree would look at this and say, ‘This does not conform to the Second Amendment,” Republican state Assembly Member Vicky Flynn said in October.
Blumb agreed and decided that people shouldn’t be allowed to walk into airports with loaded guns, but upholds allowing guns on beaches, bars, in zoos and at public gatherings and casinos. She did allow the state to charge higher license and registration fees but struck down the requirement that gun owners who intend to carry have liability insurance.
Wirths says that he is “as pro-Second Amendment as you can get. He represents Northwest New Jersey, a conservative area of the state home to hunters and gun owners.
“Should there be some restrictions? Oh yeah. Obviously not a courthouse and not where people are. And government buildings, I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it on government buildings,” he says.
The Murphy administration immediately appealed the ruling, meaning the issue could be back in court soon.
Blum said in her ruling that “the inability to exercise one’s Second Amendment right when needed could be a matter of life or death.”


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