A Second Amendment Victory in New Jersey

A Second Amendment Victory in New Jersey

I am sure that many of you are familiar with the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society’s Operation Establish Compliance.   If not, it is an effort by the Society to force municipalities to comply with New Jersey’s statutes in the processing and issuance of PPP’s and Firearm Purchaser ID cards.  New Jersey’s local governments are sometimes notorious for not only delaying the issuance of these permits, but also adding additional requirements in violation of the statute.   Establish Compliance has been in operation since 2011, and has resulted in a series of victories.  Several local governments have voluntarily eliminated their requirements that were not permitted by statute.  NJ2AS was also able to establish that the New Jersey State Police guide to processing these applications was an SOP and that municipalities were not to deviate from it, a lawsuit to obtain a copy of that guide is ongoing.

While we object to these forms and requirements existing at all, a logical first step to reform is for the government to at least follow current law.

Today, though, we are happy to report that a New Jersey Court has found, on appeal, that municipalities may not impose their own requirements for the issuance of Permits to Purchase a Handgun or Firearm Purchaser ID cards.  This decision essentially codifies the position of Operation Establish Compliance into the case law!

The statute plainly precludes the Paterson Police Department from imposing burdens on an applicant not required by statute and, therefore, from denying an applicant a purchaser identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun based on the applicant’s failure to complete special forms adding to the burden that it has devised. The Department must use applications in the form prescribed by the superintendent as required by N.J.S.A. 2C:59-3e. Moreover, the Department may not deny applications based on any condition or requirement not specifically set forth in Chapter 58 of Title 2C. N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3f precludes that.

We join our friend Frank Fiamingo in congratulating Evan Nappen & Louis Nappen for their winning argument.  Also, many thanks to Jeremy Perez for standing strong in this fight.

The case has been remanded for further proceedings at the trial court, as they must now determine if there was any reason for Jeremy to be denied other than not completing the illegal additional requirements.

Update: It seems word of the ruling is making its way outside the Garden State.