March 6, 2017 – This afternoon, Governor Christie announced that his administration has formally adopted his historic 2016 police regulations incrementally expanding right-to-carry to those facing serious threats, notwithstanding a series of procedural maneuvers by anti-gun lawmakers trying to kill those regulations since May of last year.
Outraged by even the slightest change empowering citizens to protect themselves, anti-gun lawmakers last year fast-tracked bills to kill the new regulations before they were even formally adopted. An obscure provision of the New Jersey Constitution allows the legislature to unilaterally invalidate regulations which conflict with legislative intent.
But the legislature has never expressed any intent over what precisely constitutes “justifiable need” to carry a handgun – that has been interpreted by the State Supreme Court, and the new Christie regulations are entirely consistent with that interpretation. Also, the legislature failed to comply with key technical requirements needed to invalidate the regulation, dooming their effort to failure.
“We applaud Governor Christie for adopting this new regulation despite the efforts of anti-gun lawmakers to kill it,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “The Right to Bear Arms necessarily includes the right to self-defense with a firearm outside the home. Although 43 states recognize that right, New Jersey remains one of a handful of backward states that apparently prefer their citizens to be victims – except for legislators, who themselves enjoy the armed protection of State House security details. New Jersey’s days denying right to carry to its citizens are numbered.”
Police owe no duty to protect individual citizens – a troubling doctrine repeatedly affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. That means citizens are on their own in an emergency, yet those wishing to take responsibility for their own safety are blocked from doing so by New Jersey’s absurdly and unconstitutionally restrictive carry law. In the era of increasing terror attacks, it is all the more important that citizens be empowered to defend themselves in an emergency. Governor Christie’s newly adopted regulations represent an incremental improvement, allowing those facing “serious threats” to qualify.