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On Monday June 29, 2015 Governor Chris Christie issued the following press release concerning self-defense and gun rights:
Acting on his commitment to ensure a fair application of the state’s gun laws that respects individual rights to possess firearms and that also protects public safety, Governor Christie today took action to make commonsense changes to New Jersey’s gun regulations that ensure victims of domestic violence or violent crime, or those living under a direct or material threat, have their firearms applications processed quickly and without delay. The Governor announced that the Attorney General will file a regulatory change that will ensure expedited, priority firearm application processing for victims of domestic violence, violent crimes, or those who have a demonstrable threat against them, including those who are seeking to obtain or carry firearms for self-protection.
“I have always said that when there are sensible changes to improve our laws and the fair administration of justice, I will take action, and that is what I am doing today. The Constitution grants and our courts have affirmed the individual right to bear arms as a fundamental right, and that is all the more important for those who are victims of violence or under threat,” said Governor Christie. “This commonsense step will protect the rights of victims and people at risk of violent acts by giving them priority, while ensuring the core protections of the permitting process remain fully in effect.”
The Governor has spoken out about the tragic murder of Carol Bowne, a Camden County resident, by her ex-boyfriend earlier this month. Bowne secured a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend and filed an application for a handgun permit in April. Less than two months later, and with her application delayed beyond the 30-day statutory deadline for its processing, she was stabbed to death in her front yard by her ex-boyfriend.
Under the changes proposed by the Governor today, such an application would be reviewed and processed for approval or rejection on an expedited, 14-day basis, if possible, if either of the following circumstances exist:
- · That the applicant has been the victim of violence or threatened with violence or a deadly weapon and there is a substantial likelihood of another such incident in the foreseeable future.
- ·The applicant is living under a demonstrable threat, vis-à-vis court-ordered protection in the form of a restraining order or some other condition imposed by the court, restraining another person from contact with the applicant where there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant will be the victim of violence or threatened with a deadly weapon in the foreseeable future.
In addition, if either of the above circumstances exist, the new regulation would provide for the same expedited and priority processing for a permit to carry application, and would be deemed to meet the “justifiable need” standard required for a permit to carry a firearm to be issued.
Apart from the submission of the new regulation, Governor Christie also signed Executive Order No. 180, creating the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission, with the specific task of reviewing the state’s laws, regulations and procedures pertaining to the ownership and possession of firearms and ensuring they do not infringe on New Jerseyans’ constitutional rights. Based on its findings, the Study Commission will recommend any appropriate modifications to the existing licensing process.
In the coming days and weeks, Governor Christie will name three members with experience in law enforcement and/or criminal law to serve as the Study Commission’s membership. Upon being named and meeting, the Commission will report back to the Governor within 90 days on its findings and recommendations.
Click for copies of Executive Order 180 and the new Attorney General regulation.
Thursday May 14, 2015: In a published decision affecting all New Jersey municipalities, the New Jersey Appellate Division today confirmed that New Jersey permitting authorities may NOT require completion of additional forms for firearms permit applications beyond the forms mandated by state law.
"This decision represents a major breakthrough that will facilitate the mission of ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ ," said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. "For the first time, a New Jersey Appellate Court has published a decision confirming that local permitting authorities may not impose additional forms as a condition of issuing firearms permits and licenses. The Evan F. Nappen Law Firm is to be commended on bringing this case and obtaining this extremely significant decision."
The number one complaint ANJRPC receives from law-abiding gun owners relates to local permitting forms and requirements invented by municipalities, beyond what is clearly specified under state law, often resulting in improper delays and denials. The mission of ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ is to address these problems in each and every one of New Jerseys 565 municipalities. Today's decision will make it much easier to either obtain voluntary compliance from these towns, or to employ litigation against those that refuse.
The case was brought by the law firm of Evan F. Nappen, and was briefed and argued by Louis Nappen. See the Nappen Firm's press release for additional details.
Towns That Won't See the Light
Are Going to Feel the Heat!
ANJRPC has launched Phase 2 - the Crackdown Phase - of its Permitting StrikeForce™ program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to address firearms permitting abuses throughout the Garden State. The program is aimed at ending, once and for all, the extensive delays, unauthorized conditions, and other widespread abuses plaguing the issuance of firearms ID cards and handgun purchase permits to law-abiding citizens throughout New Jersey.
In StrikeForce™ Phase 1, launched last year, we did a sweep of the entire state to create a comprehensive database chronicling and detailing the specific permitting abuses occurring throughout New Jersey's 565 municipalities and other permitting authorities. Hundreds of gun owners participated in Phase 1, providing us with evidence of their towns' abuses.
Our attorneys conducted their own independent statewide survey, and all of the data has been crunched, organized, and analyzed. For the first time in history, we now have the full picture of where and what the problems are, and it isn't pretty. From absurdly long delays, to blatantly unlawful application conditions, to outrageous privacy violations, we have identified the worst offenders.
"Phase 2 of the StrikeForce program is the start of the crackdown phase," said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. "We are serving legal notices on nearly 150 municipalities, informing them of the law, their obligations, and their specific violations in no uncertain terms. We expect that many towns will comply voluntarily once the clear and indisputable law has been explained to them, but the towns that won't see the light are going to feel the heat," said Bach.
During Phase 2, ANJRPC's counsel will be working to achieve voluntary compliance in as many towns as possible, as rapidly as possible. For those permitting authorities that simply refuse to comply, ANJRPC will embark on Phase 3 - the "hammer" phase, in which ANJRPC will deploy a number of the most powerful tools at its disposal, including litigation, to force compliance with the law.
"Permitting authorities need to understand that we have entered a new era after the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the Heller and McDonald cases," said Bach. "It is unlawful to interfere with Second Amendment rights by abusing the permitting process, and ANJRPC will spare no effort or expense to stop further abuse."
Many towns impose outrageous, unauthorized conditions on issuance of purchase permits, such as employer notification, spousal consent, disclosure of all household member names, and passing a written exam. Many municipalities also ignore state law requiring application decisions within 30 days; some applicants wait over a year before getting a decision. Some towns also ration handgun purchase permits at the rate of one per month, under the mistaken belief that New Jersey's "one gun a month" law applies to issuance of permits themselves.
ANJRPC first began addressing permitting issues on a case-by-case basis in 2009. Recent legal developments made it viable to launch ANJRPC'S Permitting StrikeForce™ last year as the first-ever comprehensive compliance sweep over the entire state. The program is synergistic and complementary with the efforts of other organizations on permitting issues.
ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ needs YOU! Although we have now moved into Phase 2, we still need to know about permitting abuses you may be suffering, as well as improvements in the permitting process that result from StrikeForce efforts. Please tell us about unauthorized conditions, delays, permit rationing, or any other violations, or improvements, in your town. Your identity will be protected, but your input will help us get the job done! Please email email@example.com or leave a message at (973) 697-9270. Please include as much detail as possible.
THE NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL
FINDS SMART GUN LAW
The New Jersey Attorney General has issued a legally-mandated report to the Governor and the Legislature finding that the Armatix iP1 handgun does not qualify as a “smart gun” under New Jersey’s 2002 smart gun law.
The report includes the following statement:
After careful consideration of the iP1's design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).
Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns).
The report was likely issued in connection with pending litigation in which the Brady Center has tried to force the Attorney General to issue a report that would trigger New Jersey’s smart gun law by finding that the Armatix gun satisfied the law.
“New Jersey’s smart-gun law is a dumb as it gets,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “It forces you to use an unproven technology to defend your life, and then exempts the state from liability when the gun goes ‘click’ instead of ‘bang’. If it’s such a great idea, then law enforcement shouldn’t be exempt, and the free market should be able to determine its viability. This is a welcome finding by the Attorney General.”
Read the Attorney General’s report here.
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE VETOES
GUN BAN / MAG BAN!
July 2, 2014: Governor Christie vetoed A2006 / S993, legislation that would have banned
firearms magazines larger than 10 rounds and would have banned an entire class of
popular .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles. The veto marks the end of the road for this
legislation for the 2014-2015 session.
"After months of intense battle over this misguided legislation that won't stop another
crime or prevent another tragedy, we are grateful that Governor Christie has heard the
voice of the outdoor community and ended the discussion," said ANJRPC Executive
Director Scott Bach. "The Governor clearly recognizes the difference between legislation
that punishes violent criminals vs. legislation that targets the rights of law-abiding
PLEASE THANK GOVERNOR CHRISTIE TODAY!
Please thank Governor Christie today for his veto of A2006 / S993. You can call the
Governor's office at 609-292-6000, write him at P.O. Box 001, Trenton, N.J. 08625, or
send an email using the online contact form (select "law and public safety" from the
drop down menu, then pick any sub-topic).And thank YOU for weathering this
months-long storm of attacks on gun owners along with us. It is because of YOUR actions, YOUR calls and letters, YOUR attendance at hearings, and YOUR refusal to give up no matter what the odds, that today's outcome was possible.
Although today's action marks the end of a long and very arduous battle, the fight is far
from over. Lawmakers will be back after the November elections, and will continue their
relentless attacks on legal gun ownership - and it will be up to gun owners to continue to
Please watch for future alerts and updates!
Donations can be sent to:
Scott Bach, PO Box 651, Newfoundland, NJ 07435
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