Third Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Key Sections of New Jersey's Restrictive Gun Law


While some elements of the law remain blocked, the decision sees a prohibition reinstated on carrying firearms near public gatherings and in 'sensitive places' amid ongoing litigation.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has permitted crucial segments of New Jersey's restrictive gun law to come into effect, notwithstanding ongoing litigation. 

With a 2-1 decision, the court restored the ban on carrying guns within 100 feet of public gatherings and in specific 'sensitive places,' such as schools, zoos, parks, libraries, places where alcohol is served, casinos, and healthcare facilities.

The decision comes after U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb had previously suspended these aspects of the law, allowing firearms to be carried in these areas.

However, certain parts of the law continue to be blocked, including the constraints on carrying guns in vehicles or on movie sets, and the requirement for liability insurance for concealed carry holders. On private properties open to the public, like retail stores, firearms can still be carried unless the property owner explicitly forbids them.

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin and Governor Phil Murphy both commend the decision, viewing it as a victory for public safety. 

In a statement following the Third Circuit Court's decision, Governor Murphy expressed his delight, saying, “I am thrilled that the Third Circuit has reinstated the vast majority of the law that I proudly signed last December to keep guns out of our most sensitive and vulnerable public places. This decision will make New Jersey a safer state for all of us and will ensure that New Jersey continues to have among the lowest rates of gun violence in the nation. I want to thank Attorney General Platkin and his entire team for this crucial victory, as well as Senate President Scutari and Speaker Coughlin for their support.”

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin also issued a statement, noting, “We are extremely gratified that the Third Circuit recognized what we have always said: New Jersey is likely to win this case because our sensitive-places law complies with the Second Amendment. This is a tremendous win for public safety, and we will continue fighting for our law.”

This follows last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that broadened gun carry laws in states like New Jersey, which had formerly heavily restricted the right to carry guns outside of the home. In reaction to this, New Jersey lawmakers, including Governor Murphy, passed a comprehensive overhaul of gun carry laws, a key component of which was to identify and forbid guns from "sensitive places."

More updates to come.

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