A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of portions of a New Jersey gun law that restricted concealed carry in certain places.
“The Court finds that the challenged provisions have chilled Plaintiffs’ reasonable exercise of their Second Amendment right,” District Judge Renee Marie Bumb wrote in an opinion Monday.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the new restrictions into law in recent weeks as part of his administration’s response to the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. Among other changes, the legislation lists multiple sensitive places where concealed carry is forbidden, with some exceptions.
On the same day it was signed into law, a group of New Jersey residents and gun rights organizations filed a complaint against the state attorney general and other public officials, claiming parts of the legislation “effectively obliterate the ability to bear arms in public.”
In the complaint, the plaintiffs claimed it was unconstitutional for the state to ban concealed carry in some of the listed areas – publicly owned libraries or museums, bars or restaurants where alcohol is sold, entertainment facilities, and private property where concealed carry is not explicitly permitted. They also challenged the law’s requirement to unload guns when in a vehicle.
On Monday, Bumb issued a temporary restraining order halting enforcement of the challenged provisions until there is a hearing and ruling on a preliminary injunction. New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s office said a hearing has not yet been scheduled.
“We are disappointed by the Court’s ruling, which is inconsistent with the Second Amendment and will make New Jerseyans considerably less safe,” Platkin said in a statement. “But this temporary order is just that: temporary. And we look forward to continuing to press our case, including ultimately on appeal.”
Alan M. Gottlieb, the founder of Second Amendment Foundation, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement that “this is another example of the important precedent found in language in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling last June.”
“Clearly, New Jersey lawmakers have gone too far in crafting a law to get around the high court’s decision,” he continued.
David Jensen, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that they were “very pleased” with the court’s order, adding that “it is unfortunate that the Legislature and Governor responded to the Supreme Court’s decision in the way that they did — by trying to obliterate the right to bear arms using a death-by-a-thousand-cuts approach.”