The saga of New Jersey’s so-called “carry-killer” Bruen response law has been playing out for months. Previously we’ve reported on the two challenges to New Jersey’s law that was enacted in December, which seriously limits the right to carry in the Garden State. Formerly, there were two temporary restraining orders and a preliminary injunction in the Federal Court for the District of New Jersey. On an emergency appeal to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, the state of New Jersey managed to secure a partial stay of the injunction, allowing some provisions of the law to be enforced.
Judge Marie Bumb for the Federal Court administratively terminated the case as the appeals are to be heard in the Circuit Court. While the litigation continued, provisions of the law concerning training and qualification requirements for carry permit applicants were released, those standards are pretty high, and the state is about to get sued yet again.
The new training mandate was supposed to be released on July 1st, but the New Jersey State Police didn’t get the new standards out until July 17th. The standards, which are being labeled as “interim,” are basically the same qualifications that have been in place for retired police officers for years to get and maintain their permits to carry. It’s hard to tell if the NJSP is being incompetent, lazy or malicious in this action, because the bar is set pretty high for non-peace officers to qualify to get their permits.
The 50-round course of fire requires applicants to shoot out as far as 25 yards at an FBI “Q” target and maintain an 80% accuracy standard. There are different distances, stages, and configurations requirements for applicants to meet Drawing from a holster is one thing, but requiring a timed exercise, with time limits as low as three seconds for some of the exercises, is beyond excessive for the general public. And why are applicants required to kneel while shooting?
Training and qualifications are important, but compulsory training that requires everyday citizens to have a level of expertise that most veteran police officers have trouble meeting goes beyond what’s described as reasonable in the Bruen opinion. The concept of required training as a whole, in my opinion, is unconstitutional, and all of it fails to meet the burden of being consistent with what was the practice at the time of the founding.
The other issue with the onerous training mandate is that the law forces current permit holders to re-qualify by October 1st. And no standards have been issued yet for to permit holders. Do they re-qualify and take their documentation to their issuing authority? Do they send that into the state? Is there going to be a portal in the newly-instituted electronic system? Should they send a carrier pigeon to deliver it to the State Police headquarters?
The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, one of the litigants in one of the suits challenging the law, reacted to the new training mandate by requesting that Judge Marie Bumb reopen the case on the federal level. Within an hour of ANJRPC’s request, Bumb did just that, and we can expect some filings in the near future.
What’s the timeline going to look like? That isn’t clear, but hopefully a request for a temporary restraining order for this portion of the law will be submitted soon, and subsequent to that, we have to remain hopeful the TRO will be granted.
The combined cases Siegel v. Platkin and Koons v. Platkin are scheduled to be heard in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals on October 25. Whether or not all elements of the cases are going to be litigated, or just the matter of what’s been preliminarily enjoined and subsequently stayed, remains to be seen But for certain, none of the organizations involved in these two cases are going to allow the Garden State to go unchallenged on the training requirements and other yet-to-be challenged elements of the law.
In their desperation to make it impossible to legally carry a firearm after the Bruen decision, New Jersey might be have gone too far, destroying it all for the remaining civil liberty “hold-out” states. That’s what happens when totalitarian regimes desperately fight to stay in complete control.