No Guns For You, Mr. Door Slammer

A couple of days ago, we delved into the controversy surrounding a California judge’s decision to confiscate Mel Gibson’s guns. Gun rights advocates reckon no such action should have been taken until someone convicted Mel of something (other than repetitive plot lines). And now we have a case that proves the point: In the Matter of Novello (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. July 15) . Although Mr. Novello was denied a permit to buy a handgun in New Jersey, the principle is the same as the one that applied to Mad Mel. To wit, the judge’s ruling:

As we have explained, the testimony presented at the hearing established that Novello and his former wife have a volatile and argumentative relationship, which has at times prompted Novello to act in an angry manner. It is undisputed that Novello’s actions have included the forceful slamming of doors, which has resulted in property damage, although the damage was relatively minor . . .

Furthermore, Novello failed to establish that he had a legitimate need for the weapon. We are satisfied that the court’s factual findings support its conclusion that it would not be in the interest of the public’s health, safety and welfare for Novello to possess a handgun, particularly in view of his volatile relationship with his former wife.

Just in case you thought that Mr. Novello’s Second Amendment rights had been incorporated by the Supreme Court, not in Joisey, bub.

The Court [in D.C. v. Heller] expressly indicated that its holding did not require invalidation of statutes that require a license to purchase or possess a firearm. In fact, the Court noted that “[r]espondent conceded at oral argument that he does not ‘have a problem with … licensing’ and that the District’s law is permissible so long as it is ‘not enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner[,]’” thus obviating the need for the Court to address the validity of the specific provisions of the District of Columbia’s gun licensing statutes. Therefore, Heller has no impact upon the constitutionality of N.J.S.A. 2C:58–3(c)(5).

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