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Over at, our man Fredy Riehl writes:

In an ongoing twitter tweet battle between the New Jersey State Senate President, Steve Sweeney and members / supporters of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society over New Jersey’s unconstitutional and archaic gun laws, the Democratic Senate President stated “I will never support carrying a concealed weapon”. Sweeney’s full statement [after the jump] cuts right to the heart of the problems with New Jersey’s existing concealed carry law . . .

As some would claim, NJ has a law on the books allowing Concealed Carry, but the facts are that it is conditioned on something called “Justifiable Need”  an impossible standard that concealed carry applicants must meet when applying for their “permit to posses”.  And for this reason NJ judges rarely approve concealed carry documents, and if they do they only go to those that are well connected to politicians in the state.

Sweeney’s statement demonstrates the complete lack of support for correcting this ill conceived and unconstitutional law as well as complete lack of understanding of the recent SCOTUS court rulings supporting the right to keep and bear arms outside the home.

As @Tony_Rock01 points out “don’t worry mr president u don’t have to support Nj will be dragged kicking & screaming by SCOTUS!!”

Much to the Senate Presidents dismay this looks to be true as there are several cases winding their way through the courts that seem poised to force our elected representatives to sort out this legal swamp of gun laws that is New Jersey.

Lawyer Evan Nappen has an interesting case going before the New Jersey Supreme Court that takes on the unobtainium that is “Justifiable Need” and the court documents for this case are well worth the read. Just a short excerpt sums up the problem well:

The United States Constitution does not contain a Bill of Needs. It contains a Bill of Rights. No “need,” justifiable or otherwise, should ever be required for an individual to exercise the rights guaranteed by that document.

The average private [NJ] citizen who wishes to possess a handgun in his or her home, whether for protection, target practice, hunting, collecting or any other legitimate purpose, can not meet such an absurdly burdensome need requirement. It is a defacto ban.

The justifiable need a requirement has to be struck as unconstitutional, and average citizens must to be granted  permits to possess.  Otherwise, New Jersey’s handgun possession law, N.J.S. 2C:39-5b, is itself unconstitutional because it converts a right into an exemption.  Rights may have exemptions, but rights themselves must not merely be exemptions.

Thank you Mr. Sweeney for making clear where you stand on our Second Amendment rights, I am sure you will throw up another wall of legislative BS when the courts force you and your cronies in Trenton to recognize a God-given right.

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  1. No need to support fat boy. SCOTUS is gonna b!tch slap you into the new year. Oh and I am sure we will uncover corruption pointing towards you. Can’t wait for you to be someone’s boo in the joint.

    Patiently waiting by the bank of the river . . . .

    • A few years ago, I would have agreed with you. After that bizarre ruling on Obamacare, where the Court rewrote a law from the bench, I can’t trust Roberts anymore. We need a call on right to carry, regardless.

      • Roberts was chief justice when Heller and McDonald came down so I don’t understand your view. They couldn’t rule broadly on the right to carry outside the home b/c that is not what was in front of them. Rulings have to be narrow. Now that the issue is carry outside the home, I think we can get a 5-4 or even a 6-3 (while Souter said no before, now that it is (a) expected b /c of prior rulings and (b) he got his ass robbed in Jamaica, well, I am hopeful he has had his road to Damascus moment)

        As for Obamacare, well, I actually think Roberts had a logic to his ruling. . . . if it is a tax, then there is authority. The problem becomes when Barry and crew try to enforce it as a penalty, which ROberts said was a no-no. . . . I actually think that is what will help bring that silly law down.

        • Here I thought unequal application of the law (congress and their favored groups are exempt) would have brought it down. Or just because it sucks. But then again, Democrats and statists fought hard for that monstrosity of a law.

  2. i will never support you. no matter how many elections you are in or fundraisers you have. (partly because i am nowhere near nj, but still).

  3. just as i support California i support NJ rights as well i donate what i can (broke college student) if we win in those states it is like total victory

  4. What he said:

    “I will never support carrying a concealed weapon.”

    What he meant:

    “I will never support carrying a concealed weapon unless it’s for my well-connected political contributors… and my security detail.”

    Animal Farm becomes more relevant every day in NJ.

  5. You’d never hold any office as important as Senate “President” in a Free State, Mr. Swine-y.

    You don’t even have to “support” concealed carry personally (though by oath of office you are in fact required to support it professionally). The SCOTUS will take care of that if your state supreme court fails to do its job.

  6. It’s OK.NJ will be brought to heel, one way or the other.

    Either NJ politicians can follow the US Constitution, or they can be broken against it.

    • Sorry to be a pessimist, but no matter what ruling is handed down, the crook politicians of NJ will thumb their noses at it and refuse to comply. Who is gonna make them? BHO? Biden? Holder?

      • They will resist, no question about it. Which helps us in the long run, as it did in Illinois. Once the judiciary finally says “Issue CCW permits OR ELSE” after another lawsuit works its way up the system, their choices will be to declare rebellion against the Federal Government or to comply to the damn letter .

        Sure, they’ll get pissy.But CCW will nevertheless come to New Jersey.

        • I sure do hope you’re right ST, and that there will not be requirements adding up to thousands of $ to qualify…i.e….training courses, state fees, etc. They will make it as difficult as possible…

  7. I never would have thought that the 9th circuit would bet stronger on the 2nd Amendment than the courts for NY and NJ…

    • What’s really interesting is that the legal “justification” in the NJ case will make the Scotus nine either laugh or cry because it is so idiotic and without judicial precedent. To rule that because a law has been in effect for a time (1968), makes it stand for all time is ludicrous. The Jim Crow laws upheld by Plessy were thrown out by cases like Heart of Atlanta. The key to the Ninth’s ruling is that no state may deny the rights of the Bill of Rights as per the Fourteenth Amendment. The Civil War decided the question of nullification as well as secession. A state cannot nullify sections of the Constitution it doesn’t like.

  8. Enjoy your opinion, Sweeney, as you are entitled to it. That is your right. No test for need there, just your right. But please don’t confuse the fact rights apply to you with your opinion that you are right.

    Sort of like Galileo’s response to condemnation from the church of his support for observations that the Earth is not the center of the universe, “and yet it moves” he said about the Earth.

    Believe what you want, Sweeney, but the facts are coming for you. And they don’t care what you feel.

  9. Oh, but you do support concealed carry, Mr. Sweeney. You support the Secret Service and/or plain clothes police that protect YOU as a State Senate President. Hypocritical like all the rest.

  10. Mr. Sweeney, I have sworn to defend your rights and am willing to lay my life down for yours. It would be nice if you would defend mine as well, as you have also sworn to defend. You are the epitome of hypercritic!!!

  11. This guy is a commie through and through. He is actively trying to bankrupt the state of NJ and has people guarding him with conceal guns. I used to live in Jersey and its people like this guy that makes me REALLY glad I left.

  12. FYI, he is likely the next governor of nj

    He’s got south jersey locked up. He’s angling for the mommy vote in north jersey.

    The mayor of jersey city is running to his left on gun control. He’s trying to keep up.

  13. “The average private [NJ] citizen who wishes to possess a handgun in his or her home, …can not meet such an absurdly burdensome need requirement.”

    If the above quote is accurate Lawyer Evan Nappen needs to be careful. There is no law in NJ that prevents possession of a handgun in the home. This is the basis for the lie that NJ uses to say that it does not violate the 2nd Amendment.

    • No, there is no prohibition of possession in the home, per se, but there is a requirement that one get a license just to purchase a firearm–and good luck with that. I hear (I’m not from NJ) that it takes a proctology exam and months of waiting to get that precious piece of paper, and it must be specific as to the precise firearm you intend to purchase. (I don’t know how NJ FFLs stay in business having to hold on to guns for months at a time before a transaction can close.)

      • Not exactly. Once you have your FOID, no other permits are needed to buy long guns. For handguns, you have to apply for a permit to purchase, which is valid for 90 days and can be extended once for another 90 days. You don’t have to specify which gun you’re going to buy prior to applying, but you can only buy 1 pistol in a 30 day period. Try buying another one on day 29 and expect to get arrested. You need 2 personal references each time and submit with your application (my local PD wants them notarized as well, not all PDs do that). I don’t know about other PDs, but mine also asks to submit a consent for mental health records check with each application, something they started doing recently (this was only a requirement when you applied for the FOID, now you have to submit one each time). The process varies a little from one department to another, but yes, as a deterrent, people are made to wait months for their permits, even though it should take no longer than 30 days. My personal record is just over 4 months, but I’ve heard people had to wait 6 and more months.

        • Isn’t it a often ignored state law the county sheriff has six weeks to approve your application to buy a gun?

          Been out of jersey a vey long time.

        • The application is filed with your local PD (or in some cases directly with the State Police) and by law they have 30 days to approve or deny a permit. But it almost always takes longer than that. Just to stay on their good side and not piss them off, I caution people to only inquire about their permit after they’ve been waiting about 2 months. The cops sure don’t appreciate you pointing out the law to them. If you do, they’ll look for reasons to deny the permit or in best case scenario they’ll make you wait another few months, and there’s not much you can do.

        • Private face to face long gun sales just require a form that both parties sign (still need an FPID but the forms do not get sent to the state).

          Private face to face handgun sales still require an individual pistol purchase permit, and are also still subject to the “one gun a month” rule, as the permit gets dated and mailed in to the state and local police by the seller.

        • If you legally take possession of a long gun outside the state of NJ, and you are a NJ resident, you may bring the long gun into the state without registration or completion of the “Certificate of Eligibility”. This was explained to me by 3 different State Police officers in the firearms division.

          NJ has voluntary long gun registration (which means no one registers long guns). We are a ban state so the long gun can not have two or more of the banned “features”.

          All handguns, however require a permit to buy and possess.

  14. Well this really illustrates the mindset of anti-2A people in this nation. It doesn’t matter what the rule of law is. Constitutional, Federal, or state law. These people in power don’t care. What they think is right trumps everything else.

    • Besides sweeny just being a democrat he is doing what democrats love to do. He’s taking the gun violence committed in 4 NJ Cityies – Newark, Camdon, Jersey City and Trenton – and extrapolating it to the entire state as an excuse for draconian anti gun laws. Maryland uses Baltimore.

  15. From top of page 1 of the application, NJ state police form SP642:

    “Each person applying for a Permit to Carry and (sic) Handgun must supply a letter of need, specific in content, as to why they have a need to carry a firearm in the State of New Jersey.”

    And just in case you weren’t sure, such dubious and frivolous reasons as self defense, personal safety, protection of life, property etc. do not qualify as ‘justifiable’ here in NJ. Nobody really knows what exactly would qualify.

    The permit is valid for 2 years and requires 3 references who each must have known the applicant for at least 3 years. This by itself is very difficult to overcome in a blue state that hates guns. My guess is that if the 9th circuit court case goes to the SC, NJ might get rid of ‘justifiable need’ but other requirements could be changed and/or added. I mean, why not 4 references or 5? Why from somebody who knows you for ‘only’ 3 years and not 5? Something about slippery slope…

  16. I am a young guy, 24. I’m realizing that fighting for our constitution and all of it’s rights is going to be my lifelong battle as long as citizens like this exist. They are trying to change the very thing that makes us, this country, great and stand apart in the world as a land of freedom. Citizens like this politician are literally trying to jackhammer the cornerstone that’s holding this whole building up. Their intent is very serious; I only hope that us who can see their intent, hold to our fight, just as serious.

  17. The real danger for NJ and other “enlightened” states (ok, I will turn sarcasm off) is that the 9th and 7th circuit cases are very detailed in going through the history of the 2nd amendment. I think there is a real possibility that SCOTUS could strike down most state laws requiring permits to purchase or register guns as invalid and then allow either concealed and/or open carry as a mandate. If NJ were smart (again, sarcasm is not subtlety) it would eliminate the purchase application and take that as an issue off the table. When California legislature eliminated open carry as an option (b/c so many were just shocked to see people open carrying unloaded guns at starbucks) this was the end for them. They were told expressly what the practical effect was (a defacto ban on 2A rights) and they said piss off. Well, look what it got them. Frankly, they antis there should try to recall all of the numbnuts who rammed that dumb law through.

    But, I am actually glad this guy is such a d!ckhead. It makes the lawsuits easier.

  18. I really do recommend that everyone read Nappens brief. He points out something most overlook. Gun are in point of law illegal in NJ. You may have firearms under specific exceptions. Plus handguns the way the law is written requires a permit to posses which in NJ is defined as a carry permit. Further NJ never recognized the 1st or second amendments as rights, rather as privileges and was forced to get with the first and hopefully with the second now as well. But going further Nappen exposes that NJ gun law basis was struck down by Heller and McDonald decisions thereby negating the states gun laws. Like I said well worth the read.

    • It was always interesting to me that NJ laws are written that way. Everything is illegal EXCEPT… Whereas it should be the other way around. Everything is legal EXCEPT…

      In a perfect world, there’s no “except…” tacked on to scenario 2, but this is NJ. Illinois did all they could to avoid CCW, but they are amateur hour compared to the insane politicians in NJ. I literally don’t know anyone who voted for these clowns, but yet they keep getting elected.

  19. I have literally given up on New Jersey and am moving to Florida. I have a nicer gun collection than most but certainly not the best etc. All my firearms are of course NJ Compliant and I have suffered because of NJ, i.e. not been able to buy the guns I want nor been able to have commonly accepted features on the guns I do own because of where I live. I was a political science major many moons ago, I was nominated to the Naval Academy, I am very pro-USA and supportive of both police and government.

    NJ is beyond hope. It is absolutely beyond hope. I believe our taxes are somewhere like $17K a year (FOR A TOWNHOUSE IN NJ). The laws are absolutely repressive and the politicians here work on some combination of Manifest Destiny and the Divine Right of Assemblymen/Senators. They just decide what they want and in guns, it’s all about deny deny deny, then confiscate confiscate confiscate. And they are NOT going anywhere, it’s going to be much much worse (and not get better.)

    I am fleeing to Florida with my family, where my 30 acres in FL would cost a few million here, and I can enjoy my life, enjoy my Constitutionally protected and State upheld rights in peace and quiet, and I can watch NJ ridiculousness on the safe comfort of the information superhighway.

    • Samson,
      Good thing you didn’t go to the Navel Academy. Anti gun laws in Maryland have gotten horrid! They passed stupid laws like the one which bans shotguns with collapsible/folding stocks and ones with regular stoke with pistol grips but its OK to buy no stock (pistol grip only) shotgun.
      You must have lived in Northern Jersey. My near the shore was bad enough at $4.5K but the same house in North Jersey (exit 135 and above) have property taxes of $20K!

  20. “Swiney” is still on his re-election high. Unfortunately, even though I DIDN’T vote for him he managed to stick around. Maybe it was his use of his disabled daughter in commercials that won hearts and minds. I found that part rather disgusting as my oldest is autistic. Never thought about an actual carry gun here. Better start the paperwork now!

  21. A+ to all who have commented on NJ’s “all guns are illegal except”. Nappan has long been pointing out the crazy way our firearm laws are written. His brief for the landscaper who was denied a carry permit is a good read. BTW, Sweeney doesn’t have to support concealed carry, the idiot doesn’t even know his own state’s laws. The permit in question does not specify concealed or open. You fill out an “APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN”, the permit and the admin code and the statute make no distinction between open or concealed. I guess there are so few of this things in the wild that he just assumed it was a CCW permit. What a rube.

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