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Concealed Carry Gun Laws and ‘Justifiable Needs’

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Concealed Carry Gun Laws and 'Justifiable Needs'
Photo credit: zombieite / Flickr

The citizens of New Jersey are having a difficult time practicing the “bear” part of their Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.” The state has passed a law making it much more difficult to get a concealed carry permit for their guns.

Now, you must prove you have “justifiable needs” to carry a gun in public before a permit will be issued. If you can’t prove “justifiable needs,” you’ll have to keep your guns at home. This law naturally did not sit well with gun rights advocates, and the case has now been taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear it.

What are ‘Justifiable Needs’?

Essentially, “justifiable needs” means that you have good reason to believe the life of you or someone you love will be put in danger, if you do not carry a gun on you at all times. Of course, this particular definition of “justifiable needs” applies to very few people.

Maybe off-duty police officers who may be targeted for revenge by people they have put in jail, people who have restraining orders against other people with proven records of violence, or people in the witness protection program would qualify as having “justifiable needs” to get a concealed carry permit in New Jersey.

For most people in that state, they aren’t going to be able to show sufficient reason to the state to give them a permit. The requirements for proving your “justifiable needs” are that strict.

Why Did New Jersey Enact this Requirement to Get a Concealed Carry Permit?

According to The Truth About Guns, New Jersey says the “justifiable needs” law is part of a long-standing precedent in the state. New Jersey has always frowned on private citizens carrying guns outside of their homes or on the shooting ranges. Now, it has legitimized that disapproval with state legislation.

However, taking away someone’s right to bear arms, which is what this law does, goes against the Constitution. The Constitutional aspect of the case is what caused the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to hear it; they usually focus their attentions on cases of national or international importance, or those that deal with Constitutional issues.

It is true that many law enforcement officers in the northeastern United States have voiced their opinion that laws such as New Jersey’s keep guns away from kids and criminals. However, there are still lots of homicides in places that have enacted strict gun control laws (which, again, are mainly in the northeast).

The criminals who commit these homicides usually do it with guns they weren’t supposed to have anyway. Making it more difficult for private citizens to get and carry guns for their own protection isn’t going to keep criminals from getting their hands on unauthorized guns.

They’re doing it already, and they will keep doing it. All New Jersey’s law does is make it harder for private, law abiding citizens to defend themselves.

A lower court has already upheld New Jersey’s “justifiable needs” law. This only shows that the politicians of New Jersey have a lot of power and influence over the state’s courts, as they are obviously pandering to the gun control elite, who are a very vocal presence in state politics.

The good news is that the lower court’s ruling is not the end of it. There are higher and higher courts that can hear the case, but the highest court in the land has already agreed to do it. If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the “justifiable needs” law in New Jersey, it will be setting the precedent that other states may not infringe on the Constitutional rights of citizens in a similar way. This will be a winning decision for everyone.

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