State Supreme Court To Hear Challenge To Gun Law

STATE – The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a decades-old gun law that requires state residents to show that they have a “justifiable need” to obtain a permit to carry a handgun.

Richard Pantano, a landscape-supply business owner from Hasbrouck Heights, was turned down when he applied for a permit to carry a handgun in 2011. He argued that he needed the weapon to be able to defend himself while carrying thousands of dollars in cash in the evenings, but lower courts held that he hadn’t proved a “justifiable need” and had never been assaulted.

He is challenging the lower court rulings based on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but in a 1968 decision the New Jersey State Supreme Court held that the right “to keep and bear arms” only applies to “a well-regulated militia.”

In a separate case, a federal appeals court upheld New Jersey’s “justifiable need” law earlier this week.

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