The justices turned away challenge to a New Jersey law that sharply restricts the authority to carry a handgun in public.
The case would have marked the most significant gun control case at the high court since its District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 upheld the right to keep handguns at home for self-defense.
The New Jersey challenge was backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). “The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry weapons for the purpose of self-defense — not just for self-defense within the home, but for self-defense, period,” the NRA argued in its brief to the high court.
The New Jersey law at issue Monday requires proof of a justifiable need to carry a gun, defined as “the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life.”
Among the challengers was a Sussex County man, John Drake, who services and restocks ATM's — a job that requires him to carry large amounts of cash. His application for a permit to carry a gun was denied.
“In practice, few ordinary people can hope to obtain a New Jersey handgun carry permit,” said Drake's lawyer, Alan Gura of Virginia, in legal papers that urged the Supreme Court to take the case.
Around the time the legal challenge was launched, Gura said, about 1,200 permits had been issued in a state with an adult population of nearly seven million.