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New Jersey AG on That Whole “Bear Arms” Thing

From an ANJRPC alert, we have the text of the Attorney General’s brief in the lawsuit over New Jersey’s carry laws:

New Jersey’s carefully conceived and long-standing regulatory scheme is rooted in an appreciation that a permit to carry may not afford any measure of self-protection to a particular applicant and would instead increase the risk of the applicant being involved in “the known and serious dangers of misuse and accidental use.” When a handgun is carried in public, the serious risks and dangers of misuse and accidental use are borne by the public.

New Jersey has not merely a significant interest but a compelling interest in combating handgun violence and combating the dangers and risks associated with the accidental and misuse of handguns, which are inherent in carrying a handgun. It also has a compelling interest in reducing the use of handguns in crimes. A government’s foremost function is to ensure the safety of all of its citizenry. When handguns are permitted to be carried beyond one’s home, the dangers and risks necessarily increase and are borne by the public.

Generally speaking, one cannot know whether crime against an individual will occur at all, much less know when, where, or how. Neither then can one know whether a handgun would provide an effective measure of self-defense and be safe to use as to other victims or bystanders. Further, the “need” for a handgun for self-defense outside of the home does not stand alone. The carrying of a handgun inherently comes with the dangers and risks of its misuse or accidental use. These dangers and risks are borne by everyone with whom the person encounters.

That’s kind of funny, considering 40 or so other states seem to manage some kind of shall-issue policy without blood running in the streets. This would also seem to be the kind of policy argument, advocated by Justice Breyer, that the Heller and McDonald majorities rejected. In addition to this statement, she’s’ trying to get ANJRPC and SAF thrown off the lawsuit.

12 Responses to “New Jersey AG on That Whole “Bear Arms” Thing”

  1. MaggieL says:

    The antis still don’t seem to get that the document in question is not called the “Bill of Needs”.

  2. Flight-ER-Doc says:

    Funny, I thought that New Jersey had fairly strong laws interfering with the ability to carry a gun within the home, too?

    Must be wrong about that. The AG wouldn’t be lying or anything.

  3. Hank Archer says:

    “A government’s foremost function is to ensure the safety of all of its citizenry.” WTF!! I thought that “That to secure [certain unalienable Rights, … Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness], Governments are instituted among Men.”

    I guess I went to a different school than the NJAG

  4. Mike Gordon says:

    New Jersey’s AG is a Chris Christie appointee so can we presume that her brief also speaks for Christie. So I wonder how this will play out if he does decide to run for president. And if she doesn’t speak for Christie, why did he appoint her?

  5. Ballchinian says:

    The thing that makes my blood boil is the effort to characterize Heller as holding that the Second Amendment protects no more than the right to own a gun in one’s own home for the purpose of self-defense. That is not what Heller said. It’s a flat-out misrepresentation of the law, and if I were the plaintiffs in this case I would seek Rule 11 sanctions against the NJ-AG.

  6. AntiCitizenOne says:

    Mike Gordon – I think state AGs are supposed to be defending the laws of the state itself, Cuccinelli pulled a fast one on us in Virginia and got the Supreme Court here to rule for a college ban on weapons.

  7. Ian Argent says:

    Flight-ER-Doc: Anywhere on your property or fixed place of business is legally permitted. Using it there is a different kettle of fish, admittedly. But there’s nothing stopping me from answering the door with any firearm legal in the state of NJ, as near as I can tell.

    Paula Dowd may be a Christie appointee, but she’s much more anti-gun than he (which is scary). Christie really doesnt’ care. Dowd is a True Believer.

  8. Chas says:

    “Generally speaking, one cannot know whether crime against an individual will occur at all, much less know when, where, or how. Neither then can one know whether a handgun would provide an effective measure of self-defense and be safe to use as to other victims or bystanders.”

    She’s saying that since you don’t know that you will need your gun, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry it. Criminals would be rolling on the floor laughing in the cellblocks if they could hear that line of “reasoning”.
    “Oh, yeah, Mr. Gun Owner, you don’t know when I’m going to try to rob you, so do please leave your gun at home, all the time!”

    Ignorance of the possibility of needing it is a very bad reason to leave my gun at home.

    How come she doesn’t apply that line of reasoning to cops? They never “know whether a handgun would provide an effective measure of self-defense and be safe to use as to other victims or bystanders” either, but they always carry as a precaution anyway. Why aren’t private gun owners entitled to the same consideration?

  9. Chas says:

    “The Second Amendment Does Not Encompass a
    Right to Carry a Handgun Beyond One’s Home.. .”

    Markie Marxist sez: “Of course! It’s the right to keep not bear arms! Ha! Ha!”

  10. Flight-ER-Doc says:

    @Ian Argent: Are the rules about BUYING a gun different? Don’t you have to get permission in advance, even to keep it at your home?

    That is the first prohibition on carrying a gun even at home….

  11. NJT says:

    AntiCitizenOne writes:

    “I think state AGs are supposed to be defending the laws of the state itself,”

    Governor Whitman used to forbid the AG’s office to defend laws she didn’t like. As I recall the state legislature had to hire it’s own lawyers to defend a partial birth abortion ban.

    Christie could do the same, but he doesn’t.

    He’s not on our side.

  12. Ian Argent says:

    @Flight-ER-Doc: Wasn’t considering the purchase process, since you can legally have a gun without having purchased it in NJ. And for a longarm, the pain is one-and-done.

    NJ law infringes, but the purchase laws infringe everywhere. Once you have the gun, there’s no legal bar to carrying it in your home.

    That may be a fairly fine hair to split, I’ll admit.

    @NJT: Who said Christie was on our side? I didn’t. He doesn’t want to be in the fight; and ordering Dowd not to fight at the initial level would cost him too much political capital. Let’s see what happens to the appeal if NJ loses.

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