Jersey City’s extra forms for getting purchase permits are ruled illegal. The plaintiff filed an application using only the required forms, but the police denied him arguing that his non-compliance with the additional extra lawful requirements made him “a ‘threat to public health, safety and welfare’ and had not demonstrated ‘good repute within the community’.” The Court rejected that argument, and more importantly, rebuked the lower court who played the typical Jersey game of not allowing gun owners to make a proper case. From the case:
McGovern appeared pro se at the hearing. The judge repeatedly declined to allow him to present evidence supporting his attempted legal argument that Jersey City had demanded unauthorized information as part of the application. The judge also would not allow McGovern to cross-examine Brusgard about his qualifications to determine who may receive a handgun permit or his knowledge of the law in that regard. The judge stated that the only purpose of the hearing was for McGovern to prove he was not disqualified under the N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3 for a handgun permit. The Assistant Prosecutor representing Jersey City also repeatedly objected to any attempt by McGovern to develop information pertinent to his legal positions and arguments.
In this case, McGovern argued that the court had in fact reversed the burden, placing it on him to prove he was qualified rather than on the state to prove he was unqualified. Eventually we need to attack New Jersey’s entire regulatory regime for firearms, but for now this is a significant victory, given how rampant abuses like this are in the Garden State.