By Daniel Schmutter, Esq.

Right to Carry Case Update

ANJRPC’S challenge to NJ’s unconstitutional carry laws is one of the next in line to be considered for possible acceptance by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Our petition asking the Supreme Court for “certiorari” (to accept the appeal) in the carry permit lawsuit, Rogers v. Grewal, has been scheduled for a February 22, 2019 conference with the Justices.  Because the State of NJ has waived the filing of an opposition brief, the Justices can require the state to file a responsive brief, which would further delay the Court’s consideration of whether to take the case.  Also, the Justices may have independent reasons to delay consideration of whether to accept the case (as they did for several weeks when they considered taking a previous carry case brought by ANJRPC several years ago).  There is simply no way to know precisely when there will be a decision on whether to take the case.  ANJRPC will issue alerts with updates when appropriate.

Meanwhile, we are very pleased to report that six amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs have been filed supporting our request that the Supreme Court agree to hear the case.  These briefs have been submitted to the high court by other organizations and individuals supporting our case.  The amicus briefs filed to date include:

1) Coalition of New Jersey Firearms Owners, Second Amendment Foundation, John Jillard, Mark Cheeseman, Jay Factor, George Greco, Jeffrey  Muller, written by David D. Jensen, Esq,

This brief argues that this case presents the ideal vehicle for the Court to address the issue of handgun carry outside the home.  This is because (1) New Jersey law does not distinguish between concealed and open carry, and therefore the Court need not deal with the differences between those two forms of carry and how the Constitution may or may not deal with such differences and (2) New Jersey’s restrictive rule for carry permits is uniform statewide and firmly entrenched and established in statutory, regulatory, and judicial decisional law, and therefore the restrictive approach being challenged cannot simply be waived or altered by local authorities or local practice.

2) 23 State Attorneys General

The Attorneys General from 23 states have filed a brief arguing to the Court that objective shall issue laws have a positive impact on public safety both because permit holders are particularly law abiding compared to the population as a whole and because armed law abiding citizens improve public safety by virtue of being armed.

The states are Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

3)  National Rifle Association written by Paul D. Clement, Esq., Erin E. Murphy, Esq., and William K. Lane III, Esq.

The National Rifle Association has filed a brief providing an extensive discussion of the text and structure of and the history surrounding the Second Amendment, as well as an analysis of District of Columbia v. Heller in the context of handgun carry outside the home.

4)  National African American Gun Association, Inc. written by Stephen P. Halbrook, Esq. and Nezida S. Davis, Esq.

The National African American Gun Association, Inc. has filed a brief discussing in detail how the history and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment relates to the right to carry arms for personal protection in public, especially as it implicates discretionary deprivation of that right to black citizens in the post-Civil War and Jim Crow eras.

5) Law Enforcement and State Associations written by Dan M. Peterson, Esq., C. D. Michel, Esq., Sean Brady, Esq., and Anna Marie Barvir, Esq.

Six law enforcement organizations and eight state firearms associations have filed a brief providing extensive data on the extreme law-abiding nature of carry permit holders, demonstrating that New Jersey has failed to show that its restrictive law serves any public safety interest and that nationally, law enforcement officers overwhelmingly favor private citizen carry as an augmentation to their efforts at maintaining public safety.  The brief further shows that such citizen carry was very common and largely universal in the early republic.

The organizations are: Western States Sheriffs’ Association, California State Sheriffs’ Association, International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, CRPA Foundation, Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, Gun Owners’ Action League Massachusetts, Gun Owners of California, Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, and Vermont State Rifle & Pistol Association.

6) American Civil Rights Union written by Kenneth A. Klukowski, Esq.

The American Civil Rights Union has filed a brief showing how the lower courts are in disarray as to what level of scrutiny to apply to cases implicating the Second Amendment.  Not only do courts, and judges within those courts, disagree on what level of scrutiny to apply, but even where courts have settled on intermediate scrutiny as the standard for certain types of Second Amendment cases, those courts apply vastly differing versions of intermediate scrutiny, such that cases are being decided under highly variable and disparate rules.


ANJRPC’S challenge to New Jersey’s recent law restricting magazine capacity to 10 rounds continues to advance.  The preliminary injunction phase of the case is complete, and we are now back before the District Court for a final decision on the full merits of our claims.  After the District Court makes its decision, the case is likely to proceed back to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for an appeal on the full merits, which would be a necessary step before the case could ultimately be presented to the Supreme Court for consideration.  Unlike the preliminary injunction phase, which proceeded very rapidly, these next steps will likely proceed according to a normal litigation pace.



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About ANJRPC: The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs is the official New Jersey affiliate of the NRA, and is New Jersey’s oldest, largest, and most effective Second Amendment advocacy organization.