Atlantic City casino owners said firearms will be banned on their property, despite a judge's ruling lifting the state ban on guns in casinos. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Patrons of Atlantic City casinos won’t be able to carry their firearms on casino property, the gambling halls’ owners announced a week after a judge lifted the state’s ban on guns in casinos.
Mark Giannantonio, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said in a statement that the owners of the nine casinos in the state’s gambling capital will exercise their rights as private property owners to issue their own firearm ban.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and employees is a top priority for the Atlantic City casino industry,” Giannantonio said.
Last week, the state’s new gun bill — aimed at limiting where gun owners can carry their weapons — was knocked down another peg after federal Judge Renée Marie Bumb issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state from banning gun owners from taking their firearms to casinos, parks, beaches, and other recreational areas.
Scott Bach, president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, one of the plaintiffs challenging the law, said banning guns from casinos is baffling.
“The casino association has announced to the world that their patrons are unable to defend themselves. Criminals now know where to seek victims who cannot fight back,” Bach said in a statement. “If the casinos don’t provide their own armed security, they’d better have good liability insurance.”
The state’s gun law, passed by the Legislature late last year in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down restrictive concealed carry laws, has been embroiled in legal battles since Gov. Phil Murphy signed it in December. The law bans guns from a host of so-called “sensitive places.”
Bumb upheld part of the law banning guns on playgrounds, at youth sporting events, at zoos, in airports, on movie sets, and at medical facilities. In a ruling in early January, she issued an order barring the state from enforcing the law’s ban on firearms in vehicles, at public libraries and museums, and in entertainment venues.
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