Gun groups take on Murphy over N.J. handgun rules

by S.P. Sullivan  |  published on February 9, 2018

As Gov. Phil Murphy moves to tighten New Jersey’s gun laws, state gun rights advocates — backed by the National Rifle Association — are mounting a legal challenge in federal court.

A lawsuit filed Monday by the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs seeks to throw out the Garden State’s handgun permitting rules, which require gun owners prove a “justifiable need” to obtain a license to carry.

Those rules have been in place for decades, and while former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, moved to loosen the standard, one of the first moves Murphy, a Democrat, made as governor was to claw back those changes.

Now, emboldened by a favorable court ruling in Washington, D.C., gun rights advocates are asking the courts to deem New Jersey’s rules unconstitutional.

The previous standard, which state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is reinstating, required New Jersey residents demonstrate they have already been the victim of an attack or faced “specific threats” in order to obtain a handgun carry permit.

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