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FPC Amicus Brief Challenges New Jersey’s Right-to-Carry “Justifiable Need” Law

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Duncan Johnson
August 2, 2019

U.S.A. –-( Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and California Gun Rights Foundation (CGF) announced the filing of an important amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Mark Cheeseman v. Glassboro, New Jersey Police Chief John Polillo, et al., which challenges the State of New Jersey’s “justifiable need” (i.e., “good cause”) law that functions as a de facto ban on carry licenses issued to law-abiding people. The brief was authored by FPC Director of Research and attorney Joseph Greenlee, a Second Amendment expert and historian. A copy of the motion and brief can be viewed or downloaded at

The brief argues that the time has come for the Supreme Court to expressly hold that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms for lawful purposes, including self-defense, outside the home.

“While we believe that the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller decision makes clear that the right applies with equal strength beyond the home, lower courts have taken advantage of the lack of express guidance from the Court to treat the Second Amendment as a second-class right,” Greenlee explained.​

Among the many examples the brief provides, lower courts have inappropriately allowed governments to prohibit ordinary citizens from bearing arms, limit the ages of adults that can exercise the right, allow states to discriminate against nonresidents, and ban arms on outdoor government property.

“Sometimes the Court allows issues to ‘simmer’ as lower courts grapple with different arguments and reach their own conclusions that assist the Court when it ultimately decides the issue,” continued Greenlee. “But by now nearly every federal circuit court has addressed how the right to bear arms applies beyond the home in some context, and several of them have expressly requested additional guidance from the Supreme Court, so we believe this is an appropriate time for the Court to weigh in—and this case provides a perfect vehicle for it to do so.”​
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Hopefully NJ will be dragged back into alignment with what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
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