A federal judge blocked parts of the law Gov. Phil Murphy signed last month restricting where in New Jersey people may carry firearms.
The law was an early effort to establish gun control measures following the US Supreme Court ruling last year striking down a New York law governing weapons licenses on the grouds that the Constitution protects individuals’ rights to carry a handgun in public for self-defense,
US District Judge Renee Marie Bumb said that the state’s new Democratic-backed gun control law violated the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
The law banned carrying guns in public libraries, museums, bars, restaurants, or on private property without the owner’s explicit permission, as well as transporting loaded firearms in vehicles.
Judge Bumb issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of those bans while several people pursue a legal challenge to the law. The challenge was brought by three individuals and gun-rights advocacy groups.
Provisions in the New Jersey law tightening gun licensing requirements and handgun safety rules are not part of that lawsuit and they remain in effect.
The Supreme Court declared for the first time that the U.S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, as conservative justices powered a 6-3 ruling that hand a landmark victory to gun rights advocates in a nation deeply divided over how to address firearms violence.
All three remaining liberal justices dissented in the ruling, which struck down New York state’s limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home.
The top court—stacked during the presidency of 2020 election loser Donald Trump—determined that the New York law, enacted in 1913, violated a person’s right to “keep and bear arms” under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.
The ruling, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, undermined similar restrictions in other states—New Jersey among them— and imperiled other types of state and local firearms restrictions nationwide.
Thomas wrote: “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
In 2006, Bumb was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey by President George W. Bush.