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Jersey City Case Going to NJ Supreme Court

Jersey City passed a gun rationing ordinance, and ANJRPC fought it in court and won.  It looks like the case is going before the New Jersey Supreme Court now.   As we detailed a few months ago, ACORN is heavily involved in this case.  The New Jersey court system has not always been friendly to gun issues.  The infamous case of New Jersey v. Pelleteri is instructive.  Pelleteri was charged with being in possession of a Marlin Model 60, with a 17 round tube fed magazine, which is defined as an “assault firearm” under New Jersey law.  His defense tried to argue that he was unaware the Marlin fell under New Jersey’s definition, and thus he did not knowingly possess an “assault firearm.”   The court concluded:

When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril. In short, we view the statute as a regulatory measure in the interests of the public safety, premised on the thesis that one would hardly be surprised to learn that possession of such a highly dangerous offensive weapon is proscribed absent the requisite license.

That’s a .22LR plinking gun they are speaking of here, not an AK-47.  Oh, and the license they speak of?  They won’t issue it to you.  They are like carry licenses in New Jersey, in that they exist in theory, but not in practice.

I think about traveling to New Jersey to shoot sometimes, and then I remember all the case law I’ve read, and think better of it.  Sometimes it’s better, even if a bit riskier, to be ignorant.

UPDATE: This article about the oral arguments make it sound as though Jersey City made the argument that if the Court would allow them to break the state’s preemption laws, then it would be okay because other cities would follow in their tracks.

Jardim pushed for the court to keep the ordinance so that other towns and states might create similar laws.

“We hope that towns adopt it. We hope that the state adopts it. We hope that Pennsylvania adopts it. We hope that there’s a federal law for it,” said Jardim.

12 Responses to “Jersey City Case Going to NJ Supreme Court”

  1. Wolfwood says:

    If Pelleteri’s attorney didn’t seek to introduce a picture of a .22lr and a 7.62x39mm side-by-side into evidence then he ought to have been sued for malpractice.

  2. NJSoldier says:

    Yeah- Jersey sucks. I shoot stuff I bought here legally through a dealer and antiques that are obviously legal. Anything that might be subject to legal interpretation stays locked up until I get across the PA border.

  3. Ken says:

    I think about traveling to New Jersey to shoot sometimes, and then I remember all the case law I’ve read, and think better of it. Sometimes it’s better, even if a bit riskier, to be ignorant.

    Plus there’s little point in rewarding the looters with your business.

  4. geekWithA.45 says:

    Sigh.

    Even the judges didn’t get it right.

    There is no “license” for what NJ statutorily defines as an “assault weapon”.

    There is, however, an NJ AW registry, which is now CLOSED.

    In order to posses an AW legally in NJ*, you had to legally own it and register it before the registry closed. It’s pretty damned obvious that Pelleteri didn’t think he *needed* to register the darned thing. At the time , the news was full of AKs & ARs and MAC-10s, not .22lr plinkers.

    As a bit of a sidebar, no one ever was able to tell me just how it was that the cops were in Pelleteri’s gunsafe in the first place.

    * The law also makes an exemption for police to have AWs. The NJ courts judicially extended this to include off duty cops personal guns.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Actually, there is such a license. Look up N.J.A.C Title 13, Chapter 54, Section 5.2 “License to Purchase, Possess or Carry a Machine Gun or Assault Firearm”

  6. NJGunOwner says:

    If I’m not mistaken, they were in his house because they botched a raid. The cops were supposed to hit another house and got his instead. Having lived in PRNJ for 3 years now, I don’t buy it.

    My advice Seabstian, stay out else you “act at your own peril,” and according to the local PD here, “We make the law.”

  7. Wes S. says:

    Silly question: How is it constitutional for a judge to claim that a citizen “acts at his peril” in exercising his Constitutional rights?

    (Yes, I know this is New Jersey, but still…)

  8. skrip00 says:

    I hate my state… we need to vote for a guy like Lonegan who is pro-gun and pro-CCW.

  9. NJSoldier says:

    Lonegan seems okay – he came and spoke at our gun club (Shongum). Not sure if he has a chance against Corzine. Sounds like Chris Christie has a better chance altough he’s probably less conservative.

  10. geekWithA.45 says:

    Huh. I hadn’t realized that they’d tacked AWB onto the mythical NJ machine gun license.

    The last time I checked, no machine gun license had ever been issued to a private citizen in NJ, which makes them even more rare than the 600 or so carry permits that were actually issued.

    At this point, though, my data is sliding out of date, the last time I checked was 7 years back.

  11. skrip00 says:

    I want to leave this state for greener pastures… but I love it too. So I will stay and support gun rights here as best as I can… can’t keep running away lest we run out of places to run to.

  12. NJTOm says:

    “* The law also makes an exemption for police to have AWs. The NJ courts judicially extended this to include off duty cops personal guns.”

    Could someone post this case, I would like to read it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. In NJ, when dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril. « Cemetery’s Gun Blob - [...] A good write up over at Snowflakes in Hell [...]
  2. SayUncle » Then why not one per year? - [...] NJ’s gun rationing heading to NJ supreme court. [...]
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