Bruen’s Aftermath: The Shall Issue Way Forward as the Blue States Strike Back

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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By Peter B. Elias and Theresa Inacker

The Supreme Court of the United States recently released some landmark rulings in its just-concluded session. For those of us who live in states that systematically violate the Second Amendment, the SCOTUS ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen, handed down on June 23, 2022, (henceforth a national holiday for the Second Amendment) has been life-altering.

For those of you who live in the 43 states that allow concealed carry, this ruling will further solidify your rights. But for the states that persist in living in a petulant “blue hive” petulant anti-gun rights mentality, Bruen is a huge blow to them and a historic win for civil rights.

That said, neither classification of state should rest on any laurels. As politicians’ statements and actions have made perfectly clear, the fight will continue. To that end, we must use the Bruen ruling as a “hammer” to build, restore, and maintain our Second Amendment freedoms.

The Bruen “hammer” will be needed to pound out wins in areas such as . . .

  • Magazine limits and bans
  • Red flag laws
  • “Assault weapons” bans
  • Accessory bans
  • Concealed carry “sensitive area” prohibitions
  • 80%/home built firearm bans
  • .50 caliber rifle bans
  • Microstamping

Questions abound from people in states like New Jersey, New York, Hawaii–people who are now exercising this fundamental freedom for the first time in their lives. This is a new and an exciting time. But like a scoundrel in a novel, blue state anti-gunners are already playing the part of the villain.

New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy and his acting Attorney General Matt Platkin have made it clear that they want to thwart the Bruen decision, and make lawful carry as difficult as possible. Like New York, Murphy proposes making all businesses excluded zones from concealed carry unless businesses “opt in” to allow it.

Murphy also wants to exclude anywhere police might be, such as stadiums or other events. These types of restrictions violate the spirit of the Bruen holding, and will likely be the basis for court challenges.

As Murphy and his implementing administrative entities craft their legislative response to Bruen, they leave us wondering about the following in their permitting scheme . . .

  • Qualifying and Training requirements
  • Ammo types? (Please call it “defensive ammo” and not the much demonized “hollow point”.)
  • Frequency of required training
  • Locations for training and qualification
  • Cost
  • When, where, how to apply

In the end, we know that we now have the Bruen “hammer” that’s been given to us, and the fight will have to continue.

In New Jersey, local range owner/operators, instructors, and prominent names in the 2A fight have been gotten a massive number of calls and emails with questions from the public since the Supreme Court ruled. Some inquiries come from frequent contacts and others from the “never heard of them” or “haven’t heard from them in years” types.

Industry folks may be getting frustrated and overwhelmed. We need to remember that the ruling has sparked interest here in New Jersey and in other “blue hive” states, and so a flurry of activity is likely. That’s a good thing.

This is an awesome time, especially for people in the formerly may-issue states. Don’t let your impatience or frustrations get in the way. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of battles to fight, but we will partner with Second Amendment advocacy organizations and unify as we navigate these uncharted waters together.

 

Peter B. Elias, a lifelong firearms enthusiast and career Firefighter/EMT, has been involved in Second Amendment advocacy in New Jersey for decades.

Theresa Inacker is an attorney and Second Amendment advocate, a member of the US Supreme Court bar, the New Jersey delegate to The DC Project, and serves as the Communications Director for the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners.

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