Permits to Carry and Sensitive Places (Part 18)

by | May 2, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Permits to Carry and Sensitive PlacesThe District Court continued: The Court notes, however, that the Supreme Court has cautioned that “the proof required to establish standing increases as the suit proceeds.”8 [Id.] Defendants contend that the Plaintiffs fail to substantiate or even allege concrete plans to imminently visit the places for which they challenge Chapter 131’s provisions. For example, with respect to the restriction on carrying firearms in public libraries or museums, Defendants admit that “[t]he closest that any Plaintiff comes is Plaintiff Muller’s statement that he has carried his handgun while visiting the library in the past.” [State’s Br. at 11 (internal citations and quotations omitted).] And although Mr. Muller did state that he does not remember visiting a museum since having his permit to carry, the State does not look at what he does positively affirm under oath: that he would resume carrying a handgun in public more frequently if he did not face criminal penalties, including “attend[ing] a public event or go[ing] to a venue like a museum or theater.” [Muller Decl. ¶¶ 11, 19.]

The other Plaintiffs similarly affirm that they, too, would generally resume carrying a handgun with them in public, including at the grocery store, in bars and restaurants, and during their ordinary suburban activities, among other locations. [Koons Decl. ¶ 14; Gaudio Decl. ¶ 18.] The Court finds that all Plaintiffs clearly have standing to challenge the sweeping restrictions on carrying handguns on private property or in vehicles. Of the three remaining “sensitive place” restrictions, the Court is satisfied based on the Plaintiffs’ pleadings, arguments, and Declarations that at least one Plaintiff has frequented a location covered by each of the challenged provisions. Further, these “sensitive places” all appear to be limited to places that are generally open to the public and where ordinary persons like Plaintiffs would be expected to frequent upon occasion.

This portion of the opinion provides further insight into where firearms can be carried with a valid permit. The additional locations listed include bars and restaurants.