Handgun Law Heads to New Jersey Supreme Court

For the first time in nearly half a century, the state Supreme Court will hear a landmark case that could redefine gun rights in New Jersey.
August 2, 2013
 

For the first time in nearly half a century, the state Supreme Court will hear a landmark case that could redefine gun rights in New Jersey.

The state’s highest court has agreed to consider a challenge to the toughest gun-control law in New Jersey, first passed in 1924, which says people must show "justifiable need" if they want permits to carry handguns.

Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld the same New Jersey law in a separate case, saying states can require residents seeking the right to carry handguns to prove they have an "urgent necessity for self-protection."

But experts say the state Supreme Court’s ruling could have a more sweeping impact because the court has wider reach to interpret state law and could choose to change its last major decision on gun rights: a 1968 ruling saying only citizen militias — not individuals — have Second Amendment rights in New Jersey.

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