NRA Sues New Jersey, Alleging Gun Law Is Too Restrictive

NRA Sues New Jersey, Alleging Gun Law Is Too Restrictive
A man looks at handguns at a shooting range in Randolph, N.J., on Dec. 9, 2015. (Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

The National Rifle Association this week filed a lawsuit against New Jersey’s attorney general, alleging its concealed carry law is unnecessarily restrictive.

While New Jersey law allows anyone with a permit to carry a gun, permits “are rarely given” in practice, according to the 27-page lawsuit.

In addition to requirements such as passing criminal and mental background checks, “a law-abiding citizen may only be granted a Handgun Carry Permit if he demonstrates ‘that he has a justifiable need to carry a handgun’—a requirement almost no one can ever satisfy,” lawyers for the association, known as the NRA, and other plaintiffs wrote.

In effect, the average law-abiding citizen remains subject “to a flat ban on carrying handguns outside the home, even though the Constitution provides that the right to keep and bear arms belongs to ‘the people,’” they argued.

The restrictive practices defy the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, according to the suit.

“It’s outrageous that law-abiding people are being denied their right to self-defense by arbitrary means,” said Amy Hunter, spokeswoman for the NRA, in a statement.

“Statistics show that self-defense situations come up quickly and without warning. Time and time again, we hear stories about good people who have saved lives because they were carrying a firearm. The state of New Jersey has no reason to deny law-abiding citizens their constitutional rights.”

Plaintiffs include a firearms instructor who has a federal and New Jersey firearms retail license. When he applied for a concealed carry license, he was told to not bother because it would not be granted, attorneys said.

A spokesperson for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “We are not going to comment on the particulars of pending litigation. However, we have consistently been successful in defending New Jersey’s commonsense firearm safety laws in the past, which protect the safety of the public and of law enforcement officers, and we will continue to do so.”

The Democrat is one of the defendants named, along with other officials such as Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, and Thomas Bryan, chief of the Edison Township Police Department.

The case is Mazahreh v. Grewal, 1:20-cv-17598. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.