New Jersey after McDonald v Chicago

In my opinion, I don’t see much if anything changing in New Jersey after the McDonald case.  Remember Heller? Everyone thought that was going to be a huge win for gun rights advocates in New Jersey.  Not one thing has changed since Heller as NJ courts have (no pun intended) shot that down.  The same will likely happen with with McDonald.

Maybe someone will find a way to change New Jersey for the better, but for now, I’m going to keep fighting for my clients.


Posted on July 1, 2010, in My Practice. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. McDonald is springing numerous Federal lawsuits though. The Second Amendment foundation is suing NY over the “good cause” requirement for carry permits:
    It’s only a matter of time for NJ………..

  2. Check that complaint out in the earlier post. One would think it could be easily amended to apply to New Jersey, which issues permits on the same discretionary standard.

    Jef Henninger would probably be the ideal guy to synchronize with Alan Gura and the SAF to file a similar complaint in NJ.

    Jef – don’t you have some clients who have been recently denied who would be excellent plaintiffs to file a similar suit in NJ Federal District Court?

    Let’s be proactive here. If we wait, some joker is going to file a pro se case and make some bad precedent.

    • Since I don’t take cases I know I will lose, no, none of my clients have been denied. However, all it takes is for one person to apply and get denied to start things up. Problem is, it is hard to find someone to finance a huge fight.

    • A pro se applicant can’t do any worse than Siccardi v. State(1971), NJ’s precedent on carry permits. Let em do what they want in state court, but let Alan Gura do the Federal lawsuits.

  3. I hate to say it since I’m not a shrink, but I think the pessimism regarding NJ on this blog is that “wish fulfillment” stuff – it’s only a matter of time before some clever attorney changes the law in NJ, and then you will be forced to change your business around.

    Your pessimism, if in good faith, has precluded your candidacy for retainer in the legal battle to come.

    NJ gun owners will find a way to champion McDonald.

    To the readers of this blog: I’ve contacted the ACLU and the NRA, and will be organizing *by myself* if I have to; grab my email from my name or leave me yours.

    We can do this.

    • That couldn’t be farther from the truth. First, I might do one carry permit every two years. If they were opened up to more people, wouldn’t I stand to make a ton of money. Second, I’m not really in this for the money. If I was, I wouldn’t help people try to get gun permits. I would wait to get the appeal where a lot of money can be made. I don’t really make any profit on the gun permit applications but being an attorney isn’t all about making money for me. If it was, I could be making a lot more with another area of the law but I wouldn’t be happy. I fight for real people with real causes. I’m not missing out on anything as I am a trial litigator. I don’t handle the ConLaw stuff like gun rights in Federal Court. There are plenty of attorneys that do. My attitude comes from doing this for a living and seeing how the inside really works. What happened to Heller? Wasn’t that going go change the world? It did nothing in New Jersey. I hope to hell that I am wrong though so that some sanity comes back to this state.

      • Jef, you ought to brush up on your constitutional law. As has been repeated ad nauseum for the past two years, Heller only applied to the federal government, so of course it did not have any effect upon New Jersey law. McDonald was the holding everyone has been waiting for in order to challenge state law. Now that it has been decided, if you want to continue to be known as the “go to attorney” on NJ carry permits you need to get with the program because it’s a new world out there. We got the supreme court on our side! We have not had the supreme court on our side before, ever. Now’s the time to consolidate our gains and establish some favorable precedents while we are able.

      • I understand Heller, but I was flooded with calls and emails that Heller could still be used to change things in NJ and it didn’t. But here is my point, regardless of what the law says, it still has to be enforced. Look at what the police are doing with purchase permits. So, even if the law is changed, it does not mean that everyone will be walking around with carry permits. It will still be very tough and expensive for some or even most people to get because of the way the law is enforced.

  4. Once the Federal courts start striking down the various “need” provisions(there are 4 currently in CA,DC, and NY), I’m not sure if the NJ courts will want to hold to the Siccardi precedent. If you look at Siccardi, it is a completely bogus precedent in which the “evidence” that people shouldn’t get carry permits is crap, to put it lightly. The police chiefs that were interviewed as “experts” would claim that they didn’t know anyone who had used a firearm on the street for self defense, yet each had issued almost no permits, so it’s not suprising that was the case. There was also the report(by Newton/Zimring) cited by the court that advocated for strict handgun bans and issuing carry permits only to security personnel. That report is been proven wrong by the 40 plus shall-issue states, which have seen dramatic drops in crime after going to shall-issue. There also was no Second Amendment claim in Siccardi, so it’s relevance on that point alone is questionable.
    With intermediate or strict scrutiny required, NJ will have the burden of proving that the carry law is “narrowly tailored”. It’s not “narrowly tailored,” it’s set up specifically so that they can approve or deny whoever they want for whatever reason.
    I agree with Jef that the legislature may try some shenenigans if some of the laws get tossed but at some point the lawsuits will become tiresome and expensive and they can’t be fought forever.

  5. Now This (SAF suing MD over arbitrary carry permit issue):

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