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Judge blocks some of New Jersey“s new gun restrictions


Demonstrators hold signs at “March for Our Lives”, one of a series of nationwide protests against gun violence, in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2022. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/File Photo

A federal judge on Monday blocked parts of a recently passed New Jersey law restricting where people in the state may carry guns, an early test of some states’ efforts to pass gun control measures in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year expanding gun rights nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb said that the state’s new restrictions violated the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The law banned carrying guns in public libraries, museums, bars and restaurants and on private property without the owner’s explicit permission, as well as transporting loaded guns in vehicles,

She issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of those bans while several people pursue a legal challenge to the law. The challenge was brought by three individuals and gun-rights advocacy groups.

Other parts of the law, which was signed last month by Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, are not part of the lawsuit and remain in effect. They include provisions tightening gun licensing requirements and handgun safety rules.

Tyler Jones, a spokesperson for Murphy, said the governor’s office was disappointed that the judge had struck down “common sense restrictions” and would work to get them reinstated.

The law was passed in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in June that the U.S. Constitution protects individuals’ right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, striking down a New York law governing gun licenses.

The decision left open the possibility for states to restrict guns in “sensitive places,” but said any restrictions must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of gun regulation. Bumb ruled Monday that New Jersey’s restrictions did not fit with that tradition.