Permits to Carry and Sensitive Places (Part 7)

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Law, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Ocean County

Permits to Carry and Sensitive PlacesJudge Bumb continued: Plaintiff Gaudio, a systems engineer for Lockheed Martin with a United States Department of Defense Top Secret security clearance, avers in his Declaration that he began carrying a handgun on a regular basis after he received his permit to carry a firearm. [Docket No. 11 ⁋⁋ 3, 4.] However, as a result of the new legislation, “[he] will have no option but to leave [his] handgun at home when [he] is traveling in public by automobile, effectively negating all of the protections and freedoms that [his] family and [he] have enjoyed since [obtaining the permit to carry] and rendering [his] New Jersey Permit to Carry useless.” [Id. ⁋ 16.] Moreover, as to the prohibition on driving with a functional firearm, Plaintiff Gaudio avers that the new legislation effectively prevents him from defending himself while driving or as a passenger. [Id. ⁋ 15.] He is also afraid of the risk of being charged with brandishing a weapon as the “act of uncasing, loading, and holstering a handgun in public could easily be perceived as brandishing a handgun by passersby and bystanders, which creates the potential for law enforcement officers to misinterpret [his] only legal option to arm [himself] in public for a threatening act. This could potentially result in a situation where [he] could get arrested or injured due to a misunderstood innocent and legal action.” [Id.]

Plaintiff Muller, a victim of a vicious kidnapping, had obtained a carry permit pursuant to the previous “justifiable need” standard. [Docket No. 12 ⁋⁋ 36.] After receiving his permit, he remained “very concerned about [his] personal safety, and [he] began to carry [his] handgun on a nearly constant basis.” [Id. ⁋ 8.] As a result of the new legislation, he avers, he has “no choice but to stop carrying a handgun away from [his] own home and property.” [Id. ⁋ 18.] According to Muller the irony of the State’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen protecting the right to bear arms is this legislation, pursuant to which “I have largely lost the ability to bear arms that I have had since 2011.” [Id.]

Muller makes for a particularly good challenge to the legislation at issue. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the elevated “justifiable need” standard was overly burdensome and unconstitutional. Muller was still able to meet that elevated standard. Still, the legislation at issue nullifies he right to carry. Under these circumstances, it would be illogical to hold that the new extensive list of “sensitive places” is constitutional.