No Right To Buy Handgun In New Jersey, At Least For Now

October 30, 2009

The Second Amendment took a hit in New Jersey the other day, but the Supreme Court may change that soon enough.  Last year, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment guarantees “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation”. District of Columbia v. Heller New Jersey Appellate Division Judge Stephen Skillman held that Heller had no impact on the constitutionality of the Jersey law: In the Matter of Anthony Dubov. That law forbids anyone from possessing any handgun without obtaining police approval and permission in advance.

This decision has caused a good deal of anger and derision among Second Amendment supporters. Check out these bulletin boards:, Glocktalk.  Also read Alan Korwin’s post on the subject. At first blush, Dubov seemed to me to be an open defiance of the Heller ruling.   However, although the Heller court did order the issuance of a permit, it specifically chose not to address the licensing requirement. So Judge Skillman had some wiggle room, and wiggle he did.

None of this should matter once the Supreme Court hands down its opinion in McDonald v. Chicago.  Alan Korwin  quoted Alan Gura, lead counsel in both the Heller and McDonald cases, as saying, “State and local politicians should be on notice: the Second Amendment is a normal part of the Bill of Rights, and it is coming to your town.”

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