N.J. withdraws threat of appeal in federal challenge of gun law

by Terrence T. McDonald, New Jersey Monitor

New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin told the federal judge overseeing the challenge to the state’s new gun law that he will not appeal a pair of federal orders she issued that temporarily block parts of the law from being enforced.

Platkin’s Wednesday notice to Judge Renée Marie Bumb came five days after he told her that delays in the next phase of the legal challenge made an appeal of the orders “necessary.”

But after Bumb on Tuesday scheduled a hearing in the case for next week, New Jersey decided to drop its appeal effort “at this time,” according to Platkin.

A group of gun rights advocates have sued New Jersey seeking to overturn parts of the gun law, which sharply restricts where gun owners can carry their weapons in public. Bumb has issued a pair of restraining orders halting New Jersey from carrying out parts of the law while she decides on the plaintiffs’ push for a preliminary injunction that would bar enforcement of the law as the challenge winds its way through the court system. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 17.

The law, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in December, was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which struck down restrictive concealed carry laws as unconstitutional.

The state’s law attempts to bar gun owners from carrying their weapons in a host of public places, like bars, restaurants, and beaches, among other locations, and it requires gun owners to obtain liability insurance. The plaintiffs have called the law’s provisions unconstitutional.

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