The Second Amendment Foundation and the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) have joined six private citizens to file a lawsuit against New Jersey officials on charges of depriving individuals of their civil rights.
Those citizens had applications for gun-carrying permits denied because state officials said they did not show "justifiable need" for the weapons. One of the plaintiffs is a kidnap victim, while another is a part-time sheriff's deputy. One of the individuals who was denied a permit carries large amounts of cash as part of his private business, while another is a civilian employee for the FBI.
Defendants in the case are three Superior Court judges, two law enforcement officials and New Jersey's Attorney General. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), a group that promotes and protects a citizen's right to bear firearms, said that New Jersey's "horribly-crafted laws" allow for uncontrolled discretion when public officials are reviewing license applications.
"If being a kidnap victim, or part-time law enforcement officer, or the potential target of a known radical group does not clearly demonstrate a justifiable need, the defendants need to explain what would," said SAF executive vice president Alan Gottlieb. "Do citizens need guns to their heads or knives to their throats before the state considers their need to be justified?"
According to the ANJRPC, 40 states currently have laws recognizing the right of citizens to carry a handgun for self-defense, but New Jersey has refused to modernize its laws.