NJ law on permits for guns in public is upheld

A U.S. appeals court has upheld a New Jersey gun law that requires people to show a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun in public.

The law is “unsettled” on whether the U.S. Constitution protects the right to bear arms beyond one’s home, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court panel said.

The New Jersey law requires gun owners to show an urgent need to carry a handgun for self-defense. Both a police official and a judge must approve the permits.

The plaintiffs argued that the decisions could prove arbitrary, but the court disagreed, saying the Handgun Permit Law clearly defines the requirements, along with bans on people with certain criminal histories or mental health issues.

The New Jersey attorney general’s office declined to comment on Wednesday’s 2-1 decision.

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