NJ Backs Delaware's Restrictions on Assault Weapons; Joins Supreme Court Suit


In two groundbreaking court filings, New Jersey champions Delaware's assault weapon restrictions and supports federal law to keep guns away from domestic violence abusers.

Taking strong steps toward public safety, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General co-led two crucial friend-of-the-court filings this week. These legal actions demonstrate a robust defense of state rights to limit dangerous weapons, backing Delaware's restrictions on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines (LCMs), and joining a Supreme Court suit aimed at preventing domestic abusers from accessing firearms.

In a determined effort to combat gun violence, New Jersey has emerged as a leader in the fight to uphold sensible firearm restrictions.

Yesterday, New Jersey co-led an amicus brief alongside 18 states to support Delaware's assault weapons and LCMs restrictions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. This action follows the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware's ruling in March that upheld the laws against a Second Amendment challenge, confirming that Delaware’s laws are constitutional.

The case, Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association v. Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, is vital to the ongoing battle against deadly weapons designed to inflict mass casualties. Such weapons have been used in many of the most devastating mass shootings in the United States.

Earlier this week, New Jersey also teamed up with 25 other states to file an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that might enable domestic violence abusers to obtain guns. This case, United States v. Rahimi, saw the Fifth Circuit strike down a federal law that barred individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from accessing guns.

Both legal actions underscore New Jersey's commitment to public safety and its rigorous approach to firearm laws, tailored to prevent mass injuries and save lives.

“States are responsible for the public health and safety of their residents and there is no greater health issue in protecting the public’s safety than curtailing gun violence,” said First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay V. Ruotolo.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, along with Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, co-led the amicus brief. It received support from numerous states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

The filings emphasize that Delaware’s restrictions on assault weapons and LCMs are consistent with the Second Amendment. The arguments focus on public safety, stating that states can and should impose restrictions on dangerous weapons that pose community threats. They also argue that such weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment as they are not commonly used or suitable for self-defense.

In the U.S. Supreme Court case, the states argue that the ruling threatens the safety of domestic violence victims and hampers federal and state governments' efforts to protect residents' safety.

With firearm deaths at record high levels, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these legal actions are a testament to New Jersey’s unwavering stance against gun violence and its dedication to protecting its residents. The state's collaboration with others in these multistate actions reflects a nationwide pursuit of responsible gun control measures and highlights the vital importance of public safety in today’s society.

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