Lawsuit filed challenging NJ Conceal Carry Laws

You can find the case documents here: Rogers & ANJRPC v. Grewal.

The case has been brought by the Association of NJ Rifle and Pistol Clubs.

This is a facial challenge against NJ’s Conceal Carry scheme under the Second Amendment.  The suit acknowledges that a similar action was denied in 2014 (Drake v. Filko), but argues that it was wrongly decided and that in light of “the reasons explained in Wrenn v. District of Columbia, 864 F.3d 650 (D.C. Cir. 2017)”, which dealt a blow to a similar justifiable need standard in DC last year.  Plaintiffs argue that NJ should look at the action again.

In Wrenn, the DC Circuit wrote:

To watch the news for even a week in any major city is to give up any illusions about “the problem of handgun violence in this country.” Heller I, 554 U.S. at 570. The District has understandably sought to fight this scourge with every legal tool at its disposal. For that long struggle against gun violence, you might see in today’s decision a defeat; you might see the opposite. To say whether it is one or the other is beyond our ken here. We are bound to leave the District as much space to regulate as the Constitution allows—but no more. Just so, our opinion does little more than trace the boundaries laid in 1791 and flagged in Heller I. And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem almost uniquely designed to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun.
(emphasis added)

The plaintiff, Thomas Rogers owns two restaurants and over 100 ATM machines .  He regularly deals with high volumes of currency (approximately $6.8M per year) throughout his workday.  However, due to the fact he doesn’t have a specific and justifiable need to carry a firearm that is separate and apart from that of the general public, he was denied a permit to carry a firearm.

The Superior Court Judge, in denying his permit to carry a firearm acknowledged that armored car employees are permitted to carry firearms under NJSA 2C:58-4.1, however noted that the statute “fails to mention anything about ATM employees”.

The docket sheet for this action, linked above will be updated as documents are filed.

The statement from ANJRPC appears below:

February 5—ANJRPC announced today that it has filed suit in federal court to overturn New Jersey’s draconian restrictions on carrying a handgun outside the home for self-defense!

Under New Jersey law, a permit to carry a handgun may be issued only to those citizens who show that they face a unique need for self-defense – such as specific, documented death threats or actual attacks. Ordinary citizens are barred from carrying a handgun outside the home for self-defense, under threat of up to 10 years in prison. The new lawsuit seeks to overturn New Jersey’s carry law on the ground that it violates the Second Amendment.

Click here to see a copy of the complaint in the case.

In the landmark 2008 Heller decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-protection, and it struck down a District of Columbia law banning the possession of firearms in the home.

“The core Second Amendment right of armed self-defense is just as important to an ordinary New Jersey citizen when she is traveling through a dangerous neighborhood as it is when she is safe in her home,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “The Supreme Court has said that the States cannot ban people from keeping firearms for self-defense in their homes, and New Jersey’s restrictions on carrying firearms outside the home will meet the same end.”

Federal courts in New Jersey have previously upheld the State’s restrictions, but the new lawsuit—which was filed in cooperation with the National Rifle Association—asks the courts to take another look at the issue, based on a recent federal decision striking down the District of Columbia’s similar law as flatly unconstitutional. “We thank the NRA for its incredible support and guidance, which made this new lawsuit possible,” continued Bach.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that police have no legal duty to protect individual citizens from harm, which means you’re on your own in an emergency,” Bach continued. “The same government that abandons its duty to keep you safe should not also block your Constitutional right to protect yourself.  Right to carry’s time is coming in the Garden State, and ANJRPC and NRA are at the forefront of that movement.”

Although the lawsuit has already been filed, ANJRPC requests that anyone recently denied a carry permit in New Jersey contact us ASAP at

Please forward this email to every gun owner you know, and if you don’t already receive alerts from ANJRPC, please subscribe to our free email alerts for the latest Second Amendment breaking news and action alerts.

About ANJRPC: The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs is the official New Jersey affiliate of the NRA, and is New Jersey’s oldest, largest, and most effective Second Amendment advocacy organization.

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