In Brief

New Jersey says it will appeal federal orders blocking N.J.’s new gun law

By: - March 7, 2023 12:29 pm

N.J. Attorney General Matt Platkin has signaled his plans to appeal a federal judge's orders blocking the state's new gun law. (Aristide Economopoulos for New Jersey Monitor)

New Jersey officials plan to appeal a federal judge’s orders blocking parts of the state’s new gun law.

Attorney General Matt Platkin told federal Judge Renée Marie Bumb he will appeal her two temporary restraining orders allowing guns in places state legislators banned them, including bars, parks, beaches, and libraries — even though such orders aren’t ordinarily appealable, according to a letter Deputy Solicitor General Angela Cai submitted on behalf of Platkin.

The appeal threat comes as Bumb is considering whether to issue permanent injunctions in the case, filed by a group of gun rights advocates. Platkin’s letter says the state would withdraw any appeal if Bumb rules on the injunctions or withdraws the temporary restraining orders.

“In light of the impacts of an injunction of its law that has now lasted almost two months, the state greatly appreciates this court’s consideration,” Platkin wrote.

Platkin’s letter comes eight months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case known as Bruen that gun owners have a constitutional right to carry firearms, and states can’t restrict that right.

New Jersey legislators rushed to fend off a flood of firearms to all sorts of public places by passing a law with new restrictions that gun supporters warned courts would ultimately strike down.

One gun rights advocate scoffed at Platkin’s latest legal move, saying Bruen was clear that any effort to control guns must pass constitutional muster.

“They’re spending taxpayer money to defend something they’re going to lose,” said Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs.

Bach’s group is behind the legal challenges to the new law.

“This case is not breaking any new ground. The ground was broken in Bruen,” Bach said. “The state is having a hissy fit because it doesn’t like what the Supreme Court did, and they’re seeing what they can get away with. But we know what the outcome is going to be. Even if the lower courts don’t affirm, we know what the Supreme Court is going to do. And it’s just a question of when that’s going to happen.”

A Platkin spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that they will file a notice of appeal by Wednesday but otherwise declined to comment.

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Dana DiFilippo
Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.