NJ Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Gun Rights,,, Wait What!?

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NJ Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Gun Rights,,, Wait What!?

New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- Overturning both a County Superior Court and an Appellate Division decision, the law firm of Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law successfully petitioned the NJ Supreme Court for a unanimous Opinion released today mandating that people must be provided with hearings whenever a court contemplates denying a handgun carry permit and that such hearings must be held within 30 days.

New Jersey’s highest court today held that: “if a court has any questions regarding the applicant or his or her permit to carry application, it must hold a hearing to address those questions. The court should not simply deny the application.” “[A] hearing must be held whenever the court contemplates denying a handgun carry-permit[.]”

NOTE: The above bold text for emphasis appears in the Supreme Court Opinion In Re Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun of Calvin Carlstrom and Syllabus.

This is believed to be the first pro-gun rights decision ever issued unanimously by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Carlstrom was hired by a security company to be an armed guard protecting movie theatres. In 2016, he applied for a New Jersey permit to carry a handgun which, after an investigation, was approved by the Roselle Park Police Chief.

In New Jersey, however, county judges actually issue these permits, and Carlstrom’s application supporting documents was accordingly forwarded to the Union County Superior Court.

On February 2, 2017, Judge William A. Daniel denied Carlstrom’s application without ever providing Carlstrom with a hearing on the merits of his application.

Under New Jersey’s governing statute, carry permit applicants are specifically afforded a hearing if a police chief denies an application. The statute, however, is silent whether a judge must provide a hearing if the Court intends to deny an application that has been approved by a police chief.

Carlstrom hired the Nappen Firm to appeal the “trial” court’s decision. Nevertheless, on December 21, 2018, Appellate Division Judges Michael J. Haas and Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff affirmed Judge Daniel’s opinion, deciding that Carlstrom had “no authority to support his argument that a hearing is required in matters involving perfunctory licensing applications or that the court must hear testimony from the chief of police who reviewed an application.”

The Nappen Firm believed differently and appealed higher, Petitioning for Certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Carlstrom.

After this filing, on May 20, 2019, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) promulgated Administrative Directive #06-19: Criminal – Procedures for Processing Gun Permits, which provided that trial courts must hold a hearing if it has any questions regarding the applicant or his or her permit to carry application. Today’s NJSC Opinion affirmatively incorporates the AOC Directive into precedential case law that county judges must now follow.

The NJSC Opinion also mandates that carry permit hearings “must be held no later than 30 days after receipt of the permit to carry application, and the court shall make a determination within 14 days thereafter, absent extraordinary circumstances.”

Carlstrom’s Appellate and Supreme Court matters were briefed and argued by Louis P. Nappen, Esq., of the Law firm of Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law, PC, Eatontown NJ.

In response to the NJSC Opinion, Louis Nappen said, “This is an outstanding Due Process victory for gun owners. This will be particularly important when the United States Supreme Court – we anticipate – provides a heightened scrutiny level to the right to carry and scraps New Jersey’s ‘justifiable need’ requirement for the issuance of carry permits. People will now be assured their days in court if a judge intends to deny this Constitutional right.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court further remanded Carlstrom’s matter back to the Law Division to conduct a hearing on his application with guidance as to the scope of that hearing. The NJSC noted that, at that hearing, at the judge’s discretion, amendments to the application as well as other evidence not included in the application may be admitted, as well as evidence regarding discussions with the police chief and any written conclusions by the reviewing chief and testimony from the applicant or his or her employer.

The opinion may be read by clicking here: https://njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/opinions/supreme/a_63_18.pdf?c=cdi

re Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun of Calvin Carlstrom

Evan Nappen
Evan Nappen

About Evan Nappen:

Evan Nappen (www.EvanNappen.com) is a criminal defense attorney who has focused on New Jersey firearms and weapons law for several decades. He is the author of the New Jersey Gun Law Guide. Visit his website at www.EvanNappen.com

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TURNING A BLUE STATE RED, ONE 2ND AMENDMENT STEP FORWARD OR ONE MAJOR GOVERNMENTAL PARTY CHANGE AT A TIME ! The Trump rally last night sure looked like the Jersey citizens are sick of the Dems leftist agenda and control.


No the person should be issues the weapon or permit asap after a check.
WE DO NT have to beg for our RIGHTS.


Lots of people shouldn’t even have a driver’s license let alone carrying a firearm!


New Jersey!?!?!?!?!? I’m speechless, but pleased.

Wild Bill

Stunningly hopeful. Apparently someone did not get their bribe money in on time!


WB: That is a very good point, NJ thrives on those, Back Door Politics!!!!!!

Deplorable Bill

It’s a step in the correct direction.

Arm up, carry on.

Will Flatt

Wow… Good for NJ!! Hopefully this is the first of many steps in the right direction!


Anything that is in the direction that supports law abiding citizens in their right to bare arms is always in a positive direction regardless how minor it may be. Lead or get out of the way!!!!


Don’t get excited. It’s just to stop it from going to SCotUS.


No, actually this is a step in the right direction to get it TO SCOTUS.


Before the black robbed priests of Baal will hear a case, there has to be a damaged party. As of now the guy who had to hire at his own expense of course, an attorney who is beholden to his adversaries, is no longer a damaged party. And besides…since when are our RIGHTS determined by 9 people dressed in black dresses????

Poppy Wayne

Our rights aren’t determined by “9 people dressed in black dresses”…those are enforced in the BORs. What these black robed opinionators are in place for, is to keep our government from trampling on these natural, God given rights. Granted, they don’t always do it with unfailing diligence but after all, they’re only human. It’s “WE, THE PEOPLE” that ultimately have the responsibility of making sure these rights aren’t brushed aside like some useless ramblings. If these rights disappear, it’s because “WE” let it happen. Liberty isn’t a political party.


This was a surprise coming from NJ, but in the right direction! The problem with the SCJ is that how many times has anything that is remotely connected to the Second amendment really been heard? Most of the time they won’t even hear it and dispose of it by returning it back to the lower courts ruling, they just won’t get near anything remotely connected to the Second Amendment, they also won’t get involved in the 1st Amendment! They tend to stay away from anything that might make them work on something that really would make a difference to stand… Read more »


A teeny tiny step–at least it’s in the Right (get it?) direction.




POTUS appoints SCOTUS, TRUMP 2020

Country Boy

NJ flipped to red AND Pro 2nd A by POTUS Trump. All while being “impeached”. Not to mention USMCA (Sp.?) Trade Deal and a host of others.

Big Daddy

I m a democrat, so I m against due process unless it s for me and my rich white friends. See two can play that game. Wow a decision based on the law! Good let there be more.

Country Boy

So how broke is the defendent now……?? Did he have to sell all his firearms to pay to find out he’s allowed the right , he had all along?

And they call this a “free country”…..

The other Jim

Good, this is why Bloomberg had a upset stomach yesterday.


ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT ALREADY!!! – You get a hearing.
. . . . DENIED!!! . . . NEXT


@KK – Unfortunately that will probably happen quite a bit…

Ryben Flynn

Does not help the ordinary person who would like a carry permit. Note that he was hired to be an ARMED GUARD. “New Jersey calls its permit a “permit to carry a handgun” and is a “may-issue” by law for firearm carry, either openly or concealed, but permits are rarely or never granted to the general populace. Permit applicants must “specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

Flood the system with permit applications.


It will apply to ” people ” and not only armed guard applicants!




I have been reading most of these comments and both sides have some valid arguments.

I must ask however, how far do we let it go before it’s too late? Has anyone got an answer? Do we wait until they start confiscating, until they have confiscated half our guns? Just who determines when we really take action.

Isn’t it best and easiest to “NIP IT IN THE BUD”?


Carry whatever you want and be willing to SHOOT anyone who tries to infringe on your UNALIENABLE right to self defense. Because if ANYONE including blue line enforcers try to infringe, they are declaring war on you. He who attempts to get another man into his absolute power does thereby put himself into a state of war with him, it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life; for I have reason to conclude that he who would get me into his power without my consent would use me as he pleased when he got… Read more »

Wild Bill

@CL, The John Locke quote means other than your conclusion. To put it another way John Locke did not urge what you are using others to do.
Your logic is poor, and your attempt to manipulate others is transparent.


IMHO, flying bullets are the only sure way to 1) restore the 2A and 2) discourage further legislation against the 2A.


@Buster – Shooting officials is a sure way to sway popular opinion against us.
Your statement sounds like something I’d expect from a foreign agitator.

Heart of Texas

Or a Bloomberg bot.


ain’t redundancy a great thing?

Ansel Hazen

No one’s opinion was swayed in the wrong way because of the Battle of Athens GA Finnky.


@Ansel Finnky would have us throw more money at the NRA in hopes of regaining our freedom.


@Finnky The kinder/gentler method of protecting our God-given rights appeals to a lot of people, but the time has come to ask “How’s it working for ya’?”


@Buster – I live in TX. Actually it’s working quite well so far. Unfortunately I see dark clouds on the horizon and am aware of existential political-threats to our rights – which so far look like they can be addressed politically. As for NRA, they appear to be more focused on funding WP. NRA is content to negotiate a never ending string of losses to keep the funding stream going. Much prefer GOA, SAF and ASA (American Suppressor Association) as they are aggressively fighting not only to limit future infringements, but to reduce existing regulation. This is a long term… Read more »


This is a common sense gun safety decision. Why are you trying to villainize our courts and judiciary. Stop it. Having your guns doesn’t give you the right to ac6t like as/holes.

Ansel Hazen

Who here has acted like an asshole besides you Okky?


Common sense? What is common sense about some gun hating judge denying a gun permit for no reason other than they don’t like guns or gun ownership?!


How much does Bloomberg and Soros pay you per post??

Country Boy

No it is not a “common sense” gun law….it is an UNCONSTITUTIONAL gun law. Read the 2nd A . Report back.