December 23, 2009

N.J. Court: State's Residents Have No Right To Buy Handguns

CBSNews.com--A New Jersey appeals court has concluded that Americans have no Second Amendment right to buy a handgun.

In a case decided last week, the superior court upheld a state law saying that nobody may possess "any handgun" without obtaining law enforcement approval and permission in advance.

That outcome might seem like something of a surprise, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year in the D.C. v. Heller case that the Second Amendment guarantees "the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation."

But New Jersey Appellate Division Judge Stephen Skillman wrote on behalf of a unanimous three-judge panel that Heller "has no impact upon the constitutionality of" the state law.

That's because, Skillman said, the Supreme Court did not strike down the District of Columbia's de facto handgun ban but instead simply ordered the city to issue a permit. In other words, while Americans may have the right in general to possess arms, the exact contours of that right have not been mapped, especially as the Second Amendment applies to state laws. (The court's majority opinion last year said: "We therefore assume that petitioners' issuance of a license will satisfy respondent's prayer for relief and do not address the licensing requirement.")

Look for the Supreme Court to revisit this question in a few months when it hears a case called McDonald v. Chicago. It's a constitutional challenge to Chicago's restrictive gun laws, which prohibit anyone from possessing firearms -- even in their homes -- "unless such person is the holder of a valid registration certificate for such firearm."

New Jersey's laws are similar. They say: "No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of, nor receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a handgun unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder... has first secured a permit to purchase a handgun as provided by this section."

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Comments (4)

The last 200+ years aren't a good enough weathervane for N.J. State legislature.They are reduced to getting on the Supreme Court docket yet again with a lame, LAME law aimed at appeasing POTUS,the Demos, and the cabinet.
Wise guys, Whack Jobs , and bleeding hearts. Ever watch the Sopranos. LOL I wish these guns would quit firing themselves at people.
If you live in N.J. my strongest condolences! Semper Fi

Posted by: Sharps | December 25, 2009 11:27 PM    Report this comment

4 got to add Merry Cristmass Lee
frm Tennesse

Posted by: knucklehead | December 25, 2009 10:41 AM    Report this comment

I cannot see why anyone would tolerate living in either New Jersy or New York City. I'm an extruck driver delivered in both and refused to go back. They stink just like Chicago you can smell them miles away. Corruption has an oder it's called proffesional politicans.

Posted by: knucklehead | December 25, 2009 10:37 AM    Report this comment

Even the people who live in New Jersey believe that New Jersey is the most corrupt state in the union, over and above Louisiana. The average guy I talk to believes that the Mob and the elected government are the same thing.

I'm beginning to wonder where Minnesota fits on that list, though. They have a reputation for electing real whackjobs in that state, like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken.

Gaviota

Posted by: Lee W | December 24, 2009 3:43 PM    Report this comment

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