BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has filed an amicus brief with the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a case challenging New Jersey’s “sensitive places” concealed carry statute. The case is known as Koons v. Platkin.
In May, U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb granted a preliminary injunction and the state filed a motion to stay the order pending appeal. At that time, the Second Amendment Foundation—CCRKBA’s sister organization—filed a response to the state’s motion for a stay.
CCRKBA is joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition Action Foundation in support of the appellees. They are represented by attorneys Bradley A. Benbrook and Stephen M. Duvernay at the Benbrook Law Group in Sacramento, California.
“Our interest in this case is to ensure that New Jersey’s regulation of firearms is consistent with the original meaning of the Second Amendment as the framers understood it,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Bruen decision in June 2022, it cautioned the lower courts to evaluate whether laws challenged on Second Amendment grounds met the burden of history; that is, whether today’s laws were crafted faithfully to the rights as they were understood when the people adopted the Constitution in 1791.
“It is pretty clear to us,” he continued, “that in this case, New Jersey hasn’t met that burden at all. Instead, the state has attempted to focus the court’s attention on Reconstruction-era laws, which came along decades after the Constitution was adopted, and in a different century!”
The court brief notes, “The many locations New Jersey now hopes to treat as ‘sensitive’ cannot possibly be analogized to the core founding-era sensitive locations recognized in Bruen and District of Columbia v. Heller. The historical record shows that, at the founding, carry restrictions were strictly limited to locations where the government exercised a heightened level of control to secure the proper operation of government, which stands in stark contrast to New Jersey’s sweeping restrictions…Indeed, early Americans were required by law to carry firearms in many of the locations—such as places of worship and at public assemblies—where the State now seeks to disarm citizens altogether. “New Jersey’s current impulse to protect potential victims by disarming everyone at public gatherings thus runs directly contrary to the Founders’ solution…New Jersey’s bans fail Bruen’s test. The injunction should not be disturbed.”