The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) announced today that it has joined in a federal lawsuit challenging a provision of New Jersey law that effectively denies law-abiding citizens the civil right to defend themselves with a firearm outside the home.

The suit, brought together with The Second Amendment Foundation and six private citizens, challenges the constitutionality of New Jersey’s extreme and subjective “justifiable need” standard for issuance of handgun carry permits – a nearly impossible standard to meet that has all but eliminated the right of self defense with a firearm in the Garden State.

“The fundamental right to defend yourself does not evaporate when you walk out your front door,” said ANJRPC President Scott Bach. “The U.S. Supreme Court has recently made it clear that this right belongs to all Americans. This lawsuit will ensure that New Jersey finally stops denying its citizens this basic freedom.”

40 states currently have laws recognizing the right of law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun for self defense, 28 of which have been enacted in just the last two decades. Despite the mountain of evidence showing that sustained reductions in violent crime rates result after enactment of these laws,(1) New Jersey has refused to modernize its own laws, instead choosing to imperil its citizens and force them to remain defenseless victims against armed criminals who don’t follow the law.

“It’s no mystery why violent crime rates plummet wherever right to carry laws are enacted,” said Bach. “Criminals go somewhere else when they think their victims might be armed. When predators can’t tell the difference between the sheep and the wolves, the whole flock is safer.”

One of the plaintiffs in the new lawsuit is a kidnap victim, another is a part-time sheriff’s deputy, a third carries large amounts of cash in his private business and another is a civilian employee of a law enforcement agency. The fact that such persons are unable to qualify for a New Jersey carry permit underscores how arbitrary and unreasonable the Garden State’s laws are. “New Jersey’s carry laws are blatantly unconstitutional,” said Bach. “We intend to change that.”

Source: Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs

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