Trenton, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- On Monday, March 5th, U.S. District Court Judge Benson Everett Legg, of the 4th Circuit in Maryland issued a ruling in the case Woollard v. Sheridan that declared as unconstitutional a Maryland State Law regarding the discretionary “justifiable need” clause pertaining to concealed carry permits for firearms requested by law-abiding citizens.
~The shock-waves from Judge Legg’s ruling rapidly traveled a few hundred miles up the Eastern Seaboard to Trenton NJ, where the heads of various Anti Gun Legislators, The NJ Attorney General and the NJ State Police Superintendent all collectively slammed into the nearest wall, causing aftershocks that are sure to reverberate throughout the State for sometime to come.
Search teams were dispatched to determine the fate of the head of “NJ’s Premier Gun Control Group”, one man band and now defunct CeaseFire NJ and President Bryan Miller, over concerns that he may have suffered a serious stroke or be potentially despondent and a danger to himself upon hearing the news.~
Not really… but New Jersey’s political elite were oblivious to the ruling and its future impact on New Jersey residents’ Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Below are selected quotes from Judge Legg’s ruling that all but certainly spells doom for NJ’s discretionary permitting process, whose language and intent is nearly a verbatim copy of the Maryland language that was struck down today
“In addition to self-defense, the [Second Amendment] right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment‘s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever [a] person happens to be’.”
“is that concealed carry statutes that are so discretionary in nature as to be arbitrary do not pass constitutional muster.”
“A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights,” Judge Legg wrote. “The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”
Today’s bombshell ruling sets up a classic split circuit situation, given that 3rd Circuit Judge Walls ruled only a few months ago in Newark that the standard of “justifiable need” was Constitutional in his view. Split Circuits are one of the major factors for the very existence of the Supreme Court. When these situations occur, it is all but certain the Supreme Court will get involved, either by being petitioned to resolve the split or because they decide to hear and resolve the issue without being formally asked to.
In fact, that very scenario is set to play out next month, when, in the aftermath of numerous contradictory District Court Rulings over the Constitutionality of ObamaCare, the Supreme Court will hear arguments and resolve the issue.
Immediately after the June 2010 ruling by the same Supreme Court in McDonald v Chicago, which made it clear the Second Amendment applied to the States as an individual protected right (Heller v DC) via the 14th Amendment, various Anti-Gun NJ Legislators were warned the entire scope of current NJ Firearms Laws were vulnerable to challenge. Instead of choosing wisely to re-write the Firearms laws, they petulantly dug in even further, some even stating, “I don’t care how much money it costs (taxpayer money ) to fight lawsuits we cannot win (in light of Heller and McDonald) I’m never changing my mind!”
Not a particularly wise position to take in a State that is essentially bankrupt, and certainly not the type of attitude voters should have to expect or tolerate from their so-called “leaders“.
Contrast that with Iowa Rep. Lance Horbach (R-40) – Closing Remarks on the recent passing of Iowa’s RKBA State Constitution Amendment in the following video.
For 40 plus years, the NJ Legislature and various heads of the State Police, The Attorney Generals Office, local police Chiefs, and others have been immeasurably arrogant and unabashedly open in their hostility to the idea that law-abiding citizens have a right to defend themselves from criminal predators that same system has demonstrated time and again it is incapable of dealing with.
Noted economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell has been quoted as saying “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
That single quote succinctly sums up the idiocy that passes for leadership in Trenton when it comes to Second Amendment Rights and the right to self-defense. The people that advocate so loudly for everyone else to be served up as a forced participant on the smorgasbord of State-Mandated Victimhood pay no price for the laws they advocate for. It is not their money they spend to defend laws that are indefensible. It is not their lives at risk at the hands of a criminal predator. It most certainly isn’t their right to carry a firearm on the line, since it is an open secret that belonging to the right political party, or making donations to the right office holder or candidates, or being a retired police officer is a virtual guarantee that the ruling class in NJ will have their carry permit applications rubber-stamped in short order.
It remains to be seen whether wiser minds in the Legislature will prevail in convincing their hoplophobic colleagues that fighting the inevitable changes coming to NJ Firearms Law and Carry Rights might finally cost them something, such as their Office. Or if, like the child that doesn’t get his way and stomps his feet in a temper tantrum and sticks his fingers in his ears while screaming in order to drown out the admonitions of his parents, those in both elected and appointed positions in NJ will stubbornly insist that law-abiding Citizens in NJ have no right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense, until they get smacked for their bad behavior by the Courts and punished by their “parents” ( the voters ) by being run out of Office for their actions.
As I publicly predicted in an article I wrote for the Forums Section of the Courier-Post almost exactly a year ago on this very subject, long-overdue change is coming to NJ Firearms Laws, including the right to carry.
The era of State Mandated Victimhood is mercifully coming to a close, to be relegated to the dustbin of histories discarded lies.
Judge Legg’s ruling in Maryland yesterday is merely the beginning. It is not a very long opinion at all and is written in fairly simple terms that even someone that hasn’t gone to Law School can understand. I urge the readers to read the ruling for themselves and then confront their respective State Assembly Persons and Senators with the facts and demand they commit to either rewriting the existing Statutes.
That act alone could save millions of taxpayer dollars that need not be wasted fighting a battle the State will lose, or pay the price by being thrown out of office during the next election.
About Dan Roberts
More articles, commentary, and information by D. Roberts are available at ThatEveryManBeArmed.com