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Museum claims ownership - Accession Number: 95-187 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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Traditionally the media in New Jersey is biased, with the dominant papers owned by large progressive corporations. Some independent and smaller media companies in the Garden State actually embrace civil liberties.

One paper that’s owned by a big corporation and tends to be more centrist recently rolled out a flawed op-ed presumably by the editorial staff. The Press of Atlantic City published “New Jersey’s gun-law fix for Supreme Court ruling is not the disaster it seems” and like most casual reporting on the topic, it falls short on the finer points.

The so-called “Bruen response,” aka “carry-killer,” laws have been covered here at TTAGs extensively. New Jersey’s flavor of response  to Garden Staters getting repatriated with their rights came in the form of a bill that severely limited where permit to carry holders could carry their firearms – as well as other unconstitutional restrictions. The former law, pre-Bruen, was more moderate and less regulated…in the eyes of the ruling elite it’s okay, because only the politically connected had permits to carry prior to last year’s celebration of Justice Thomas’ birthday.

The law did not do well in New Jersey. Two temporary restraining orders were put in place, and a preliminary injunction. That preliminary injunction was ordered by Federal Court Justice Renée Marie Bumb, for the District of New Jersey. Bumb enjoined the state from enforcing provisions such as the defining new “sensitive locations,” a requirement that carriers get liability insurance, and a mandate requiring carriers to keep their firearms cased and unloaded when traveling in a vehicle.

The Press went on to deviate from the facts of the case when musing over what would hold constitutional muster.

Various commenters saw the gun law’s fate as evidence of an embarrassing failure on an issue important to many. We’re not so sure.

The Bruen ruling, despite partisan emotion for and against, bars states from effectively prohibiting citizens from carrying concealed weapons, but will not eliminate rigorous gun controls of many kinds. Even particular prohibitions already have been ruled consistent with the 2nd Amendment by Judge Bumb, such as bans on firearms at playgrounds, youth sporting events and many government buildings.

The bill, allegedly written by Assemblyman Joe Danielsen – there’s no way the 2nd biggest jackass in NJ politics wrote the bill – is an embarrassing failure for him, impotent Governor Phil Murphy,  and the New Jersey ruling class. The editorial staff being “not so sure” about the failure lies in their lack of understanding of both NYSRPA v. Bruen and the Bumb injunction.

First, the less obvious. Bumb’s opinion was just a preliminary injunction. In her opinion the state will not be able to meet the burden of proving they’re correct on the points she’s enjoined for the duration of the case. That’s not to say the rest of the items left on the table such as inordinate fee hikes to get firearm related paperwork, keeping playgrounds a sensitive location, non-sanitized areas of airports prohibiting carry, and how exactly private property not open to the public will be handled when arguments conclude. 

What Bumb did not enjoin gave the brilliant attorneys who are arguing the cases a roadmap of what holes need to be filled in (Dan Schmutter for Siegel, et.al., and ANJRPC. And David Jensen for Koons, et.al., SAF, CNJFO, FPC, and NJ2AS). These cases are in good hands.

Just because Bumb did not enjoin portions of the law, does not mean that she’s saying those “particular prohibitions already have been ruled consistent with the 2nd Amendment.” Quite the contrary, she’s just seeking more information.

When the arguments were made back in March, Bumb was rather supportive towards the plight of the law-abiding gun owners through her questions. The only thing she was rather adamant about is the topic of guns in schools, which wasn’t being challenged. Bumb’s opinion on firearms in schools is irrational and counterproductive, that’s the only place she showed any real hostility towards sensitive location challenges.

The more obvious area that the staff has their ideas crisscrossed on the challenges to this law has to do with NYSRPA v. Bruen directly. The stuff that was not enjoined, none of those restrictions are analogous with anything from the time of our founding. That includes prohibiting guns in schools – which again, was not being challenged in either case. Schmutter even brought up these historical analogues during arguments at the preliminary injunction hearing:

As Your Honor is aware, we so far have only seen one thing that gets you a sensitive place. That’s “governance.” And it’s actually narrower than government functions, because as Your Honor knows, the State claims that libraries and museums and all that stuff is government functions. It’s the function of governance. Legislatures, courthouses, polling places, those are the three Bruen sensitive places.

Beyond the portion of analogous law that must be present, Bruen also made it clear that the burden is on the state to defend these laws, rather than the people coming up with argumentation to challenge them. What we’re likely looking at is that Bumb probably wants an air-tight case. The opinion she’s going to be responsible for writing will be appealed by one party or the other.

Regardless of the outcome, she’s going to want to make sure there’s solid jurisprudence behind what she says. Given her having issued temporary restraining orders, and has preliminarily enjoined good portions of the law, it’s safe to argue a permanent injunction issued by Bumb will favor the right to keep and bear arms on most counts. The opinion is likely to be epic and fortify how much of an embarrassment that New Jersey’s immature and hubris nobility really is.

In closing, The Press noted:

After the Bruen ruling, we urged N.J. officials to let the process provide clarity on what gun restrictions would stand legal challenges before revising state statutes, saving government time and taxpayers’ money. We realize now it wasn’t politically possible or desirable to be seen doing little.

Bumb’s ruling suggests New Jersey’s rushed gun bill didn’t waste many resources. Attorney General Matt Platkin’s expedited appeal of her order seeks the same result as New York’s successful appeal of nearly identical preliminary injunctions against its near-identical provisions in its response to Bruen. If he gets them, the Democrats’ approach will look pretty smart. 

Again, what’s being discussed are preliminary injunctions. There have yet to be any final opinions handed down in any of these cases. To think that the Third Circuit will err in the same manner of which the Second Circuit did, is…hopeful at best.

The Third Circuit recently found that certain non-violent persons with a conviction that could lead to imprisonment for over a year, should not lose their Second Amendment rights. The Third Circuit might be navigating more cautiously, not wishing to draw the ire of the Supreme Court by ignoring past rulings. 

In both New York and New Jersey, there’s still a lot more road to travel, and it’s doubtful the “Democrats’ approach will look pretty smart” when all is said and done. They’re only likely to continue to look tyrannical. The high court has already ruled on this topic and jurisdictions are ignoring those orders. The Supreme Court said the villagers have a right to their pitchforks. It’s that simple.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Reading the article, I saw this :

    “Even a bungled new gun law reinforces the message that Democrats are the party against guns, which has traction since most in the party and a majority of independents favor strict gun control. Even a limited ruling for the right to carry reaffirms that Republicans are the party for preserving the 2nd Amendment, which not even a majority of Democrats wants to repeal.”

    Oh, yes they do want, very badly, no less, to repeal that right. And we won’t let them… 🙁

    • The courts are but one step, an important step, but there are other factors that are already proceeding quite quickly no matter what obstacles they put up.

    • no, they do not want to repeal the 2nd amendment. They just don’t want you to exercise your rights under it.

  2. “…it’s doubtful the “Democrats’ approach will look pretty smart” when all is said and done. They’re only likely to continue to look tyrannical.”

    Even a loss at court is a win for Dims; energizes the base.

    It is the 2A defenders (and certain courts) who will be widely painted as tyrants wanting to kill people who disagree with them.

      • I have seen a few and he does serve a necessary purpose of exposing weak points to be addressed even when there is no practicable solution but to keep moving forward as best as we can. I may not agree with his solutions/conclusions but I cannot fault his reasoning in getting there.

        • “I may not agree with his solutions/conclusions but I cannot fault his reasoning in getting there.”

          I would caution you regarding writing anything complimentary about Sam I Am; you run the risk of being cancelled here.

        • LOL have you read a quarter of the stuff I post? Haven’t been out of Facebook jail longer than a week for the last 3 years.

  3. SAFEupstateFML
    “…have you read a quarter of the stuff I post?”

    Whenever your comments are published, I read them. Many times (most?), your observations need no response, as there isn’t anything significant to add.

    • Hmm well that either means I am doing well or just talking a lot of shit (or both) a fair amount of the time………meh beats broken/disjointed posting I guess.

      • “Hmm well that either means I am doing well or just talking a lot of shit (or both) a fair amount of the time………”

        IMHO, if you really work at it, both conditions are possible, simultaneously.

        So I have been told, but achievement still eludes me.

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