Permits to Carry and Sensitive Places (Part 19)

by | May 4, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Permits to Carry and Sensitive PlacesThe District Court continued:

The Court need not get bogged down in knowing how frequently each Plaintiff checks books out of his local library or who is more of a movie-goer. Instead, Plaintiffs have shown an immediate threat if they were to resume carrying their handguns with them in public as they did prior to the law’s enactment, notwithstanding that they have a Second Amendment right to do so in public for self-defense. Indeed, the challenged provisions became effective immediately, and there exists no way for Plaintiffs to obtain an exception under the law to avoid a criminal prosecution. This is only further evidence of imminent harm. The State’s demand that Plaintiffs demonstrate a concrete future intent to visit every single one of the statutorily prescribed “sensitive places” is too demanding, especially since some provisions contain catch-alls. See 2022 N.J. Laws c. 131, Section 7(a) subpart 17 (banning firearms in all entertainment facilities “including but not limited to” those listed).

Having reviewed the Plaintiffs’ Declarations, including allegations that at least one Plaintiff has visited a location covered by each of the challenged provisions of the legislation and that Plaintiffs would resume carrying handguns with them publicly wherever permissible, the Court is satisfied that Plaintiffs, as the holders of concealed carry permits, have demonstrated standing to pursue the current relief against an imminent, particularized, and concrete injury. The Court also outright rejects Defendants’ argument that Plaintiffs have failed to establish any credible threat of enforcement of the laws against them. The Court concurs with counsel for Plaintiffs that “people’s lives do not necessarily lay out into a scheduling book that run six months or a year or however long into the future.” [Tr. at 34.]

The ban on firearms in “all entertainment facilities” without listing all the facilities covered is further evidence that the law at issue was enacted to undermine the Bruen decision. If left in place, anyone with a  lawfully obtained permit to carry a firearm would be at risk of a criminal charge most any time that they carried in public.