New Jersey: SCOTUS Rules Against ‘Justifiable Need’ To Conceal Carry

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Gabby Giffords and Eric Lundy speak as gun violence survivors gather in front of the Supreme Court ahead of oral argument in NYSRPA v. Bruen on November 03, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Giffords Law Center)

June 29, 2022

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin issued a directive on June 24th notifying “All Law Enforcement Chief Executives and County Prosecutors” that firearm applicants will no longer need to submit a “justifiable need” in order to obtain a concealed carry firearm permit in New Jersey, reported Breitbart.

The directive comes as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, in which the Court held that requiring citizens to justify their “need” for a firearm to law enforcement or other government officials violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The directive reads:

“Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that impacts New Jersey’s permitting law but does not eliminate our overall permitting requirements. Under current New Jersey law, an individual can obtain a carry permit only if they can demonstrate to the reviewing officer that the applicant satisfies mandatory statutory requirements:

(1) is ‘not subject to any of the disabilities which would prevent him or her from obtaining a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card,” (2) is “thoroughly familiar with the safe handling and use of handguns,’ and (3) ‘[h]as demonstrated a justifiable need to carry a handgun.’…The decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Bruen prevents us from continuing to require a demonstration of justifiable need in order to carry a firearm, but it does not prevent us from enforcing the other requirements in our law.”
Directive from NJ Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin

In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

The High Court’s decision represents a seismic shift for gun rights in America, and will most likely call into question a variety of state laws across the country that regulate concealed carry. More specifically, it strikes down states attempting to require Americans to provide a “justifiable need” for a concealed carry permit, expanding gun rights from inside the privacy of one’s own home, to “outside the home” as well. 

In pertaining to New Jersey’s process of reviewing concealed carry firearm permits, Platkin’s directive states:

“In reviewing an individual’s application for a permit to carry, the applicable law enforcement agency shall continue to ensure that the applicant satisfies all of the criteria of N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4d and N.J.A.C. 13:54-2.4, except that the applicant need not submit a written certification of justifiable need to carry a handgun.”
Directive from NJ Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin


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