Federal District Judge Renee Bumb has ruled that the plaintiffs challenging New Jersey’s post-Bruen temper tantrum legislation have “a probability of success on the merits of their Second Amendment challenge” when the case is finally fully heard in court. Thus, she issued a temporary restraining order yesterday again blocking enforcement of most of the new law’s concealed carry bans.
Bumb is the same judge who issued a TRO in a similar “sensitive places” challenge case earlier this month and has now dealt the state another blow to its dream of making New Jersey one big “gun-free” zone.
The latest gun control scheme signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy designates much of the state as a “sensitive place,” thus banning concealed carry in any of those locations. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to challenge bans in places like airports, hospitals, zoos and movie sets, but blocked enforcement of the ban on carry in most other locations designated as no-go zones under the law.
Plaintiffs have made a strong showing of irreparable harm if the emergent relief is not granted. As discussed above, Plaintiffs have made a strong showing of constitutional injury given their Second Amendment rights as secured by the Fourteenth Amendment. This Court also agrees that “[i]n cases alleging constitutional injury, a strong showing of a constitutional deprivation that results in noncompensable damages ordinarily warrants a finding of irreparable harm.” …
In Bruen and Heller, the Supreme Court expressly identified restrictions at certain sensitive places (such as schools) to be well-settled, even though the 18thand 19th-century evidence has revealed few categories in number. Bruen, 142 S.Ct. at 2133 (citing Heller, 554 U.S. at 626)). The inference, the Court suggested, is that some gun-free zones are simply obvious, undisputed, and uncontroversial. These are: (a) certain government buildings (such as legislative assemblies or courthouses or where the Government is acting within the heartland of its authority), (b) polling places, and (c) schools. Id. Bruen further instructs courts to consider analogies to such sensitive places when considering whether the Government can meet its burden of showing that a given regulation is constitutionally permissible.
Again, read the full ruling here.
New Jersey residents with carry permits will be able to continue to carry legally in locations such as bars and restaurants, casinos, entertainment facilities, parks, beaches and youth sporting events, at least until the case is ultimately decided.
Private property owners will still, of course, be able to prohibit concealed carry if they choose. But the law designating all private property off limits without express owner consent has been blocked, at least for now.