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

From the Firearms Policy Coalition . . .

Yesterday, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of New Jersey’s laws that require individuals to be granted a permit before acquiring a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. The case, Kendrick v. Grewal, can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

Under New Jersey law, it is a crime for a law-abiding individual to obtain a rifle or shotgun without first obtaining a Firearms Purchaser Identification (“FID”) Card or handgun without a Permit To Purchase a Handgun (“Handgun Purchase Permit”)—and must obtain a new one for every purchase. Both processes involve complicated applications and multiple fees.

Approval frequently takes far longer than New Jersey law allows. The State’s regulatory scheme imposes a complex, costly, and time-consuming process riddled with delays and road blocks before an individual can even obtain the permit necessary to acquire a firearm to begin exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Gurbir Grewal
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The plaintiffs’ complaint argues that “[t]hese restrictions on firearm acquisition are unconstitutional on their face.” Indeed, they say, the “Second Amendment has the same scope today as during the founding era. … A requirement that law-abiding citizens obtain government permission—for a fee—before acquiring a firearm would have been foreign to the founding-era understanding of the right to keep and bear arms.”

Thus, FPC joined with three individuals, Bob’s Little Sport Shop, Inc., Second Amendment Foundation, Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc., New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners to strike down the unconstitutional regulations.

“We are excited to have assembled this coalition of plaintiffs to challenge New Jersey’s draconian permitting regime that requires individuals to pay fees and obtain a permit before they can exercise a fundamental, enumerated constitutional right,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations.

“The State’s unconstitutional laws burden and chill the right to keep and bear arms, preventing individuals from acquiring firearms for lawful purposes including self-defense. New Jersey’s laws do not withstand constitutional scrutiny and we look forward to a judgement eliminating these restrictions.”

“New Jersey’s unconstitutional laws are offensive to human liberty,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “No one should be forced to beg the government and get permission before exercising their human rights. This lawsuit is about eliminating these restrictions and giving back to the People their power of choice.”

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

Previous Post
Next Post

17 COMMENTS

  1. And now you see why I usually use as my alias, “Stuck in New Jersey”.
    The process of getting a permit to purchase a handgun is especially onerous, so cumbersome that years ago I gave up on ever buying another handgun in this state.
    With our super-long New Jersey commutes, I’ve found it requires taking two or three days off from work to buy a handgun — one day to apply for the permit, and another day of missed work to pick up the permit before it EXPIRES, and then maybe a third day of work to try to renew the permit for another 90 days (if your town lets you renew it — some towns don’t).

    You have to apply for a new “Permit to Purchase a Handgun” (PPHG) for each and every handgun you want to buy. Then they expire in 90 days — and the clock starts counting when they print it, not when you pick it up, so by the time they send you the notice by snail-mail that your permit is ready, you’re already down to 83 days, and then by the time you’re able to take a day off from work to pick up the permit, maybe you have only 69 days left. And these days, gun stores have a months-long waiting list for pistols, and then when they do have it in stock, New Jersey has its own state background check that is not “instant” at all. In the best of circumstances, New Jersey’s background check takes hours, but in the bad years (including 2012, 2013, 2020, and 2021), the background check takes WEEKS, and by that time, your PPHG might be EXPIRED, so you have to purchase a new permit.

    To top this off, New Jersey has a limit of one handgun per month, so say you wanted to buy three handguns, so you purchase three PPHG permits, but they all expire on the same date in less than 90 days. You have to buy the handguns at least 30 days apart, but when the background checks are taking WEEKS to complete, how is that possible? Worst of all, there’s confusion about when the 30-day “one handgun a month” date starts — is it when you tell your LGS you want the pistol and fill out the paperwork for a background check, or is it when the background check is COMPLETED weeks later and you pay for and take possession of the pistol? This is crucial, because you have to sign a form saying, “I have not purchased another handgun within the last 30 days”, but is the “purchase date” the date you tell the LGS to start the paperwork for you background check (which can take weeks), or is it the date (weeks later) when your background check is approved and you pick up the gun? If you answer this un-knowable, confusing question incorrectly (differently than the People’s Republic of New Jersey wants you to answer it!) you’re looking at jail time at worst, or revocation of your gun rights, just for being confused about something nobody truly knows the answer to.

    Fortunately, my LGS was able to intervene in time when I interpreted the question “Have you bought a handgun within the last 30 days?” the wrong way. Like most people, I thought “purchasing” meant “paying for and taking possession of the handgun”, not “telling the LGS I want a gun and starting the paperwork for it.” The state of New Jersey apparently thinks it’s the date you tell the LGS you want the gun, so if you tell the LGS to start the paperwork on two different guns within 30 days, intending to purchase them 31 days apart, you’re technically violating the law. Or so they say, but only a gun lawyer knows for sure.

    • Oops, I mistakenly said “it requires taking two or three days off from work to buy a handgun”, but it actually takes months and months of time to get a handgun in New Jersey. To clarify, what I meant to say is this:

      1) It takes months to get a permit to purchase a handgun. This requires taking taking two or three days off from work to do the PAPERWORK for a Permit to Purchase a Handgun (the town permit office is only open a couple hours a day, hence you have to take the day off from work).

      2) Then it requires waiting MONTHS for the background checks (including character references) to be completed to get your permit to purchase a handgun (even if you are a long-time gun owner).

      3) Then when you go to the local gun store (LGS) it takes additional days or weeks to actually buy the handgun, weeks waiting for the ADDITIONAL background checks to be completed, if you’re buying during a busy year for guns like 2021, 2020, 2013, or 2012. In other states, if the background check isn’t done within three days, they can sell you the gun, but in NJ, they can make you wait weeks, make you wait until your permit to purchase a handgun has EXPIRED.

      • Well damn I feel less bad about the process in NY now. Not better just realizing they haven’t taken as much as they could from us yet.

        • Not sure what county you’re in, but the pistol permit process in mine is pretty similar to what SiNJ just described. Just went through it myself. Of course, we don’t have to reapply every time though- I can’t even imagine what sorts of headaches that causes. You couldn’t pay me to do that application again.

        • Not Albany but within two counties so not terrible but takes 6ish months normally and more like 8 now and way less of a pain than what was described for NJ. Not NYC so we do not have the permits for rifles and shotguns. Not saying we have it good just less Kafka to the process.

      • Riddle me this one.

        Take all that you said about Jersey.

        I’m next to you in PA, I can get a handgun where ever I want with a background check that’s basically instant (about 3 min), I give my Sheriff $20 and I have a carry permit in about 10 min.
        All of which can be done in a lunch break if you’re quick.

        Now… TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT vantage points.

        One would think our murder rate would be astronomical here. Or that gun deaths would vastly out number yours.

        Feel free to look it up.

        Then ask yourself…. why are you and your fellow honest law abiding citizens suffering needlessly under laws that do not help you in any way shape or form?

        FEAR

        Jersey has used fear to get what they want, no guns for you, but if you are a judge, family member, ex cop, etc… guns for life!!!
        Seems VERY imbalanced doesn’t it?!?

        They own you, they control you. If you cannot change things by vote, you may have to resort to moving (very hard for a lot of people rooted in their home areas) but, whats the price of freedom worth to you? Are you really free if you’re asking for permission, basically begging to be allowed to have the opportunity to save your own life?

  2. Unconstitutional Prior restraint in an effort to deny your right to exercise a God given Constitutional right!!! And these same idiots that voted for the tyrants in New Jersey and New York are now moving to Florida in the hope of doing it all over again but correctly this time!!!

  3. New Jersey’s AG looks like he should own a hotel or convenience store.
    WTF is with the blue diaper hat.
    America at its finest.

  4. Tell him to SHOVE IT . . . SIDEWAYS. Remove his BLUE DIAPER first. One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump and His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  5. I was a member of 5 different police organizations in New Jersey and Gurbir Grewal appeared occasionally to give a talk. He was reasonable in his outlook and positions before he became the NJ Attorney General. I believe he has plans to run for governor of New Jersey and echoes what he believes are winning positions. I wouldn’t trust him at all !!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here