Third Circuit Breaks New Ground For The Second Amendment In New Jersey

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

News from New Jersey.

On August 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit weighed in on the uncharted boundaries of rights afforded under the Second Amendment, namely whether restrictions on where citizens can purchase or practice with firearms implicate the right to bear arms, and whether zoning rules interfere with that right.

In a precedential decision that tracked historical frameworks and recent U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, the Third Circuit reversed a U.S. District Court ruling that dismissed a challenge to two zoning ordinances that limited the types of firearms with which one could practice at gun clubs and also limited for-profit ownership of such a facility. In doing so, the Third Circuit reinstated the lawsuit seeking an injunction against the enforcement of those two ordinances.

Although the Third Circuit’s opinion in Drummond v. Robinson Township stopped short of a general prohibition against such restrictions, it opened the door to challenges against anti-firearm zoning far wider than it had ever been opened before. Prior to the ruling, neither the Supreme Court nor the Third Circuit had confronted a Second Amendment claim challenging a restriction on firearms purchase or practice. The Third Circuit decided that if a zoning ordinance “has the effect of depriving would-be gun owners of the guns and skills commonly used for lawful purposes like self-defense in their homes,” it would likely be unconstitutional. Drawing comparisons to free speech legislation and prohibitions that were previously struck down in Chicago and the District of Columbia, the Third Circuit held that such an ordinance will only be valid if (1) it serves a “significant, substantial, or important” government interest, and (2) “the fit between the asserted interest and the challenged law” is reasonable and “does not burden more conduct than is reasonably necessary.”

Occasionally a court gets one right.

I still wouldn’t live in New Jersey.


Comments

  1. On September 7, 2021 at 10:34 pm, Quietus said:

    You wouldn’t want to live in Jersey? Me neither. But I’ve been told by the ca 1985 Mayor of Trenton, that I am an honorary citizen of that (I’m sure) fine town, huh.

    I was doing Basic at Ft Dix. Early in the cycle, the drills loaded us on to buses and we took a road trip, destination Trenton. We spent the day doing cleanup of a Revolutionary War-vintage graveyard in sight and basically surrounded by high-rise slum apartment buildings. We got a burger at the end of the day, and got our bestowing from the Mayor of the mess. I wonder if that charade still goes on today.

  2. On September 8, 2021 at 8:31 am, Factions Speak Louder Than Herds said:

    Guidostan or Turnpikelandia is no place to live.
    It is the most densely populated state in Chiquitastan and one of the most expensive but workers utopias aren’t cheap, comrades.
    There used to be male and female rifle clubs in high schools back in the fifties and sixties with no shootouts.
    A local softball field had a vibrant diverse (wayciss!) shoot-em-up after a dispute over the game score and a local Section-8 (wayciss!) apartment complex had a YT get killed over a too good to be true Craigslist price on an Apple iGadget.
    Where were the courts and their infinite wisdom (sarc) to stop events such as these?
    Two thumbs up anytime the black robed get something right but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

  3. On September 8, 2021 at 8:43 am, Sisu said:

    Quietus, Your comment made me wonder whether I would recognize the name of said mayor – Arthur J Holland (Dem); I did not. He was mayor for 26 years; 6 years, traded off with another demon (who subsequently switched parties) for 4 years, finished 20 years by dying. It appears (not thoroughly researched) one has to go back to 1908 for the last republican mayor. … I doubt that it mattered; Trenton as the state capitol is thus by definition a cesspool regardless which party controls the governor’s office.

  4. On September 8, 2021 at 10:31 am, Fred said:

    I won’t even go to or through NJ. It’s enemy territory. It’s time to live like you mean what you say. They’ve made it abundantly clear that they don’t want my kind. Fine, goodbye and good riddance.

  5. On September 9, 2021 at 6:34 am, Roger J said:

    Fred, I feel the same way about New York, despite my Dad being from the upstate Finger Lakes region. Funny, when I was a kid, North Carolina seemed poor, and my Dad’s home town looked like a picture perfect village, like a Norman Rockwell New England town. Last time I was there, my Dad’s home town looked like West Virginia coal mining country, poor, rundown, a place for young people to escape from. And North Carolina looks prosperous. That’s what 50 years of Democrat policies will do for you – to say nothing of their absurd gun laws.

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