New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

From the Firearms Policy Coalition . . .

Yesterday, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of New Jersey’s laws that require individuals to be granted a permit before acquiring a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. The case, Kendrick v. Grewal, can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

Under New Jersey law, it is a crime for a law-abiding individual to obtain a rifle or shotgun without first obtaining a Firearms Purchaser Identification (“FID”) Card or handgun without a Permit To Purchase a Handgun (“Handgun Purchase Permit”)—and must obtain a new one for every purchase. Both processes involve complicated applications and multiple fees.

Approval frequently takes far longer than New Jersey law allows. The State’s regulatory scheme imposes a complex, costly, and time-consuming process riddled with delays and road blocks before an individual can even obtain the permit necessary to acquire a firearm to begin exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Gurbir Grewal
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The plaintiffs’ complaint argues that “[t]hese restrictions on firearm acquisition are unconstitutional on their face.” Indeed, they say, the “Second Amendment has the same scope today as during the founding era. … A requirement that law-abiding citizens obtain government permission—for a fee—before acquiring a firearm would have been foreign to the founding-era understanding of the right to keep and bear arms.”

Thus, FPC joined with three individuals, Bob’s Little Sport Shop, Inc., Second Amendment Foundation, Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc., New Jersey Second Amendment Society, and Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners to strike down the unconstitutional regulations.

“We are excited to have assembled this coalition of plaintiffs to challenge New Jersey’s draconian permitting regime that requires individuals to pay fees and obtain a permit before they can exercise a fundamental, enumerated constitutional right,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations.

“The State’s unconstitutional laws burden and chill the right to keep and bear arms, preventing individuals from acquiring firearms for lawful purposes including self-defense. New Jersey’s laws do not withstand constitutional scrutiny and we look forward to a judgement eliminating these restrictions.”

“New Jersey’s unconstitutional laws are offensive to human liberty,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “No one should be forced to beg the government and get permission before exercising their human rights. This lawsuit is about eliminating these restrictions and giving back to the People their power of choice.”

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

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