The New Jersey Constitution contains no provisions relating to the keeping or bearing of arms. However, New Jersey courts have generally upheld in-state firearm regulations that were otherwise challenged on Second Amendment grounds.
In the 2010 case Crespo v. Crespo, 989 A.2d 827 (N.J. 2010), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the “seizure of a defendant’s firearms upon a finding of domestic violence” did not violate an individual’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.1 The court noted that the Second amendment right to keep and bear arms “is incorporated as against the States by the Fourteenth Amendment,” and that “the right to possess firearms clearly may be subject to reasonable limitations.”2
In 2013, the Superior Court of New Jersey concluded that a statute requiring a showing of justifiable need prior to the issuance of a firearm permit did not violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.3 The court held that “[the] state law governing permits to carry handguns does not ‘burden any protected conduct’ under the Second Amendment,”4 and noted that it was unclear, in the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), whether the Second Amendment right extended outside the home.5
- 989 A.2d at 828. ⤴︎
- Id. ⤴︎
- In re Patano, 60 A.3d 507 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2013). ⤴︎
- Id. at 513, quoting Piszczatoski v. Filko, 840 F.Supp.2d 813, 829 (D.N.J. 2012). ⤴︎
- 60 A.3d at 514. See also In re Wheeler, 81 A.3d 728 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2013) (upholding a similar standard of justifiable need for permits authorizing certain retired law enforcement officers to carry handguns). ⤴︎