New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)
Previous Post
Next Post

Working from the template created by New York’s failed fit of pique after the Bruen decision was handed down, the Second Amendment pit of despair that is the state of New Jersey enacted its own law tightly regulating and restricting the issuance and use of concealed carry permits. Both states severely restricted the number of locations that the few citizens who have carry permits can legally tote a firearm.

But, as in New York, New Jersey’s law is running up against a frustrating complication most of us know as the United States Constitution. Today, a federal District Court Judge pronounced the new law unconstitutional and blocked its enforcement with a temporary restraining order.

As District Judge Renee Marie Bumb wrote . . .

The State may regulate conduct squarely protected by the Second Amendment only if supported by a historical tradition of firearm regulation. Here, Plaintiffs have shown that Defendants will not be able to demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support any of the challenged provisions. The deprivation of Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the State to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury, and neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws.

While good news, the grant of the TRO only means the judge thinks there’s reason to believe the plaintiffs challenging the law have a good chance of prevailing on the merits when the case is eventually argued. In the mean time, here’s the Firearms Policy Coalition’s press release announcing today’s order . . .

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the successful acquisition of a Temporary Restraining Order against multiple aspects of New Jersey’s new gun control regime. The Opinion in FPC’s Koons v. Reynolds, along with other case documents, can be viewed at

“[A]t oral argument, this Court specifically pressed the State whether it had empirical evidence to suggest that concealed carry permit holders are responsible for gun crimes or an increase in gun crimes in New Jersey, which they cite as justification for the law. However, the State had no such evidence,” the Opinion states.

“Within seconds of Gov. Murphy signing this insidious bill, FPC Law filed a challenge to its constitutionality,” said FPC Director of Legal Operations Bill Sack. “We are thrilled that the Court has wasted no time in preventing its enforcement and the irreparable constitutional injury that would have otherwise been suffered by our Plaintiffs and all of the peaceable people of New Jersey.”
FPC is joined in the litigation by Second Amendment Foundation, Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners, and New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
Individuals who would like to Join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs can sign up at Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit and follow FPC on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Wow!

    “And although Defendants represent that the ‘State will offer ample evidence that Chapter 131 is constitutional,’ they do not adequately explain why—if such evidence was critical to the passage of the legislation that would pass constitutional muster post-Bruen and available to the Legislature as set forth in Section 1(g) of the statute—they have not introduced such evidence here. Certainly, Defendants anticipated challenges to the legislation and should have been better prepared to defend the legislation’s constitutionality. Plaintiffs implore this Court to consider the only reasonable conclusion from Defendants’ posturing: their dragging of feet is evidence that no such historical tradition and evidence exists.”

    The answer it this: It takes TIME for revisionist history to be written and published in the halls of academia. Wait for it, it’s coming.

    • RE: “neither the State nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws.”

      Oh you mean like Gun Control’s sidekicks Slavery, Jim Crow, etc?

    • …and they are gonna need a *lot* more help as they do this work.

      We need to give until it hurts, because they will spare no expense in fighting us…

      • Looks to me that once the supreme court ruled on Bruin, Heller etc. that all this other stuff that they are trying is illegal and frivilous and should result in fines and disbarrment. Spelling doesn’t count.

    • TommyGNR,

      FPC and the Second Amendment Foundation are doing some outstanding work in the courts.

      Anyone notice that the National Rifle Association (and their sister organization NRA-ILA) are strangely absent from all of these recent lawsuits? It’s almost like their focus is on fleecing their donors rather than fighting to support the Second Amendment.

  2. “[A]t oral argument, this Court specifically pressed the State whether it had empirical evidence to suggest that concealed carry permit holders are responsible for gun crimes or an increase in gun crimes in New Jersey, which they cite as justification for the law. However, the State had no such evidence,”.

    because there is no such empirical evidence.

      • Because we don’t have “qualified immunity” to act as our backstop. I triple-check every scenario in my mind when I encounter a new area, because I don’t have the luxury of the Guv/State/County/City/Courts defaulting to believing my word just because I have a magic talisman called a badge.

  3. I love seeing tyrants get slapped. Screw you Murphy. Have to ask though why do douchebags like this get reelected?

    • Similar reasons to why we reelected Hochul here in NY. We have a captive urban population of voters and most of the people who move tend to be conservative (see Florida and others) unfortunately it makes what should be a upset defeat a narrow victory once votes are counted.

    • muckraker,

      Have to ask though why do douchebags like this get reelected?

      Hint: you don’t have to actually win an election if the vote counting entity is devoted to your cause.

      • I will never believe that Obidum recieved more votes than Obama. It just didn’t happen. Also my statement was rhetorical being as Pelosi, Schumer, Schiffhead, and Turtle Face keep being reelected.

  4. It seems almost like each individual demonrat governor watches what far-fetched BS laws each state can churn then tries to outdo them. Oregon watched California. Washington’s idiot Inslee and his butt-buddy AG Ferguson tried something more impressive. Then the east coast idiots try to outdo the west coast screwballs along with a few other nut-job governors.

  5. What happens when we begin to run low on conservative judges? Check out the electoral college map along with current election trends. It doesn’t look good.

      • Mark N.,

        Do you really think that Progressive True Believers will allow stare decisis to get in their way? I sure don’t.

        (For reference “stare decisis” is a Latin term for the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent.)

  6. The real problem is there is no accountability for the representatives who clearly and willingly violate their oath of office. Without such means to remove them from office immediately this will continue to happen and our rights will continue to be violated.

    • 2, 4, and 6 year terms are an awful long time to let tyrants rule…follow your oath to the Constitution or die at the gallows.

    • “Without such means to remove them from office immediately…”

      There are such means, its part of the reason why we have the second amendment.

      But for right now its probably best to let the courts hash it out and try to remove them by voting them out. Eventually though that will fail to provide an overall solution, it always eventually fails for a good overall solution. There are just too many countries under tyranny in some form where it didn’t work and it didn’t work for the American colonists either (addressing grievances to the crown) and even the U.K. and the rest of Europe today lives under a form of modern day feudal tyranny. So eventually one day that second amendment might need to be used, and that’s what they are really afraid of deep down and why they want us disarmed now.

  7. Our slimey governor, AG, and socialist democrat legislature in Washington just bought a truckload of disposable diapers from Costco (on the taxpayers dime).

  8. and what exactly will happen when one or more of these tyrant governors ignores the judges finding and orders their state cops to enforce these unconstitutional laws??

    • Tired of the bs,

      You ask a ginormously important question.

      State cops who set out to enforce such laws are violating the clear and simple words of the U.S. Constitution which they swore an oath to uphold. Further, said state cops are violating the clear and simple directive of a federal court order which has clear and simple justification language explaining how New Jersey’s law is null-and-void. Finally, said state cops are violating the clear and simple principles of Common Law and justice. Given those three clear and simple facts, I will argue that said state cops are no longer operating under legitimate/righteous authority and are thus no different than a mafioso enforcing an unjust edict from a mob boss. You can draw your own conclusions as to justified response to said state cops at that point.

        • uncommon sense
          I know what the response will be from a large portion of We The People, and rightly so.
          my question is more in the judicial sense.
          what could a federal judge or the Supremes actually do? federal marshals?
          nuke em from orbit?

        • Judges would most likely ignore state cops enforcing illegal laws. At best a few unlucky scapegoat officers might get a slap on the wist. It would be too messy and difficult to punish an entire police organization.

          Doesn’t really matter as passing more common sense gun controls is what Murphy wants to add to his resume. It doesn’t need to include little details like unconstitutionality or being struck down.

    • I know only one cop in NJ. When I asked whether he would enforce a blatantly unconstitutional law, he replied: “If it is the law, I enforce it. Someone else decides whether it is Constitutional. I enforce it until told otherwise.”

        • The old “just following orders” excuse. There is a reason many police departments have an IQ cap for hiring new officers.

        • I know not the proper context but I remember something in the ucmj about not following unlawful orders. and that didn’t work out for some people in Nuremberg

  9. New Jersey is going down the same rocky road that New York is. Something must be done to STOP these states from thumbing their nose at the Supreme Court and our rights.
    I have suggested that each of the people who vote for these bills be cited with Contempt Citations and extract heavy fines for their disregard for our Constitutional Rights!

    • “Fines” levied upon the heads of politicians/bureaucrats will of course just like the legal fees to argue in favor of violating citizen’s 2A rights will be paid for by taxpayers, change THAAAT making the former personally financially liable and this BS will cease immediately.

  10. OK, I’ve read the whole thing. Great work by the judge, especially in not letting NJ just ignore that Buren explicitly held that a state’s policy reasons are irrelevant — it’s either prove the historical analogue exists or go home.

    Why I applaud the FPC and the other plaintiffs for their excellent work, here’s what I *don’t* get about this case.

    It’s obvious that NJ passed this monstrosity of a bill in a fit of pique over Bruen — the politicians explicitly said so. Plaintiff’s have sued for declaratory and injunctive relief under 24 USC § 1983, which also gives them a right to attorneys fees if successful. So far so good.

    But SCOTUS held long ago that there’s another remedy available under § 1983:

    “We hold that a jury may be permitted to assess punitive damages in an action under § 1983 when the defendant’s conduct is shown to be motivated by evil motive or intent, or when it involves reckless or callous indifference to the federally protected rights of others. We further hold that this threshold applies even when the underlying standard of liability for compensatory damages is one of recklessness.”

    Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 56 (1983).

    Here, NJ’s intent was clear and was explicitly expressed by the politicians: to frustrate the exercise of constitutional rights as stated by SCOTUS. At the very worst, the pols are acting with callous indifference toward people’s civil rights.

    Why are plaintiffs not seeking punitive damages? Why have they not brought claims against the NJ pols for conspiracy to deprive persons of their civil rights under 42 USC § 1985 (the “Ku Klux Klan Act”), which provides:

    “If two or more persons in any State or Territory conspire or go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another, for the purpose of depriving, either directly or indirectly, any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws, or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws . . . the party so injured or deprived may have an action for the recovery of damages occasioned by such injury or deprivation, against any one or more of the conspirators.”

    Declaratory and injunctive relief are all well and good, but they don’t dissuade the political functionaries from playing a cat and mouse game with the law. Start hitting the people involved, personally, in the wallet and perhaps they will think differently.

      • Any authority for that position?

        First two words of the statute are “Every person.” If you are acting “under color of state law,” you are subject to liability under 1983, whether you are elected, appointed, employed, or contracted.

        Section 1983 actions are brought against elected officials all the time. Now, they and other state employees are generally going to have qualified immunity from claims for monetary damages, but qualified immunity goes away where the law is clear that what they are doing is illegal.

        Here, Bruen explicitly said that you can’t evade it by declaring the bulk of the community to be a “sensitive place.” As the instant opinion notes, NJ then did exactly that, and the statements of the politicos at the time make it clear that the law was passed in reaction / restistance to Bruen.

        And I daresay that discovery would reveal plenty of contemporaneous communications confirming that the actors involved KNEW that what they were enacting would not pass muster under Bruen, but they did it anyway to make their political points. I.e., they intentionally passed a law they knew violated the Bruen test to screw with people wanting to carry. That’s about as clear a 1983 violation as I can imagine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here