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Pro-Gun Groups Immediately Initiate Lawsuit Over New Controversial Gun Law In This State

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Wednesday signed a handful of gun control bills into law, something anti-gunners are saying gives the Garden State the "strongest and most formidable gun laws in the nation."

“Today, I’m proud to sign this series of common-sense gun safety bills into law to protect our children and families from the reckless dangers of gun violence, something the federal government has failed to do on behalf of its residents,” Murphy said in a statement. “By setting these higher standards for gun safety, New Jersey continues to bolster its reputation as a national leader on this critical social and public health issue.” 

About the Bills

These are the bills that were signed into law:

A1181 requires licensed mental health practitioners to alert law enforcement of a patient who has threatened or intends to commit a violet act against themselves or others. If law enforcement determines that the patient shouldn't possess a firearm then they can revoke a firearm ID as well as purchasing or carrying permits.

A1217 establishes Extreme Risk Protective Orders which prohibits a person from owning or possessing a firearm if they're deemed a risk to themselves or others. The person who the order is taken out on is also prohibited from possessing a permit or license that allows them to possess a firearm during the protective order period.

A2757 requires all private party transfers to take place with a federal firearms licensee. The FFL is then required to conduct a background check on the person wanting to purchase the firearm. The exception is made for sales and transfers between immediate family; law enforcement; licensed collectors of antique firearms; or a temporary transfer.

A2758 changes the requirements for those who wish to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in public. The new requirements tighten the qualifications to keep the number of concealed carriers to a minimum.

A2759 adds armor piercing ammunition to the list of ammunition that is prohibited in New Jersey. 

A2761 reduces the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines from 15 to 10 rounds. The exception is for current law enforcement who are on-duty or traveling to or from duty and retired law enforcement. Individuals who legally own a firearm with an unmodifiable fixed magazine capacity of up to 15 rounds or legally own a firearm that only accepts an unmodifiable detachable magazine of up to 15 rounds prior to the effective date of the bill must register the firearm with their local law enforcement agency. The bill makes it a fourth-degree crime for a person to knowingly possess a large capacity ammunition magazine unless a firearm such a magazine is registered as required.

The Legal Challenges

The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality behind the high-capacity magazine ban. ANJRPC filed the lawsuit immediately after Murphy signed the bill into law. 

“This unconstitutional law will be ignored by criminals and madmen, and affects only law-abiding citizens,” ANJRPC executive director Scott Bach said in a statement. “It turns one million people into criminals with the stroke of a pen, limits self-defense, and takes away property lawfully acquired,” continued Bach. “Buy it yesterday, ban it today, go to prison tomorrow – it’s the Jersey way, and the goal of our lawsuit is to boot this law, which makes no one safer, into the trash heap of history where it belongs.”

The lawsuit was filed in conjunction with the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action.

“Magazine bans do not deter criminals or improve public safety.  Instead, they irrationally burden the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA-ILA, said in a statement. “The National Rifle Association is proud to assist the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs in this legal challenge.”

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