InsiderNJ’s Fight of the Week: Platkin v. Bumb (and Guns)

The ongoing spat between New Jersey and U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb featured another flashpoint this week, as Bumb lopped off a piece of the strict gun law enacted by Democratic lawmakers and signed by Governor Phil Murphy.

Gun groups who initially objected to the law got a chance to feel some measure of vindication.

So did Republican lawmakers who opposed the initial bill.

“The bill is so poorly written,” said Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-26) last year. “…When this is done, when you pass it today and the Senate passes it, people are going to read this bill and have no clue when they can carry and when they can’t, because the bill’s awful. It was written poorly, it was reviewed poorly, and it’s nothing but cowardice from those of you on that side who know this is a bad thing, who refuse to have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and do the right thing.”

That’s his view, and – to a large degree – Bumb’s view, as expressed in her 235-page opinion.

For their part, Attorney General Matt Platkin and his allies, including Senate President Nick Scutari and Speaker Craig Coughlin, today mulled over an appeal, trying to shake off the sting of Bumb’s argument, while preparing for a legal countermove.

From The New Jersey Monitor:

[Bumb] “issued preliminary injunctions that lift the state’s ban on firearms at zoos, film sets, public gatherings, medical offices, and airports’ pickup/dropoff areas. The new order also prohibits the state from requiring gun owners to get liability insurance, a provision that was set to take effect July 1. Bumb also blocked a provision that would have required in-person interviews of character references for gun applicants.”

They saw it coming, a defendant-sympathetic source said in response to the injunctions, as the New Jersey defendants in the case attempt to undo what she did and coordinate an appeal. Specifically, they want to challenge the gun in the car and insurance pieces of Bumb’s pushback. They did take some degree of solace from the parts of the law that the judge left in place, namely the elimination of firearms from schools and government buildings.

The judge’s opinion represented the latest salvo in an ongoing fight that intensified with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruen case, which struck down a New York statute that required a demonstration of “proper cause” in order to obtain a permit to carry a handgun.

Because New Jersey’s long prevailing firearms law had previously required a justifiable need to carry a handgun, the legislature enacted Chapter 131 to satisfy the new standard enunciated by Bruen.

That spawned backlash.


“A federal judge has granted gun rights groups a victory by approving a temporary restraining order against the Murphy administration’s plan to limit guns in public places.

“The lawsuit — the second filed in three weeks — challenged the constitutionality of a gun law Gov. Phil Murphy signed on Dec. 22.

“The order will temporarily halt the implementation of the ‘sensitive places’ aspect of the gun safety law, which bans firearms in an expansive list of locations, including schools, restaurants, libraries and zoos. This remains in effect pending a hearing.”

Ronald Koons, Nicholas Gaudio and Jeffrey Muller, and their member organizations: the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition Inc., the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners and the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, filed the suit.

That prompted attorneys in January of this year to file a Motion to Intervene in the litigation temporarily restraining significant portions of the firearms carry bill on behalf of the Senate President and Speaker.

That prompted Bumb to respond yesterday.

And that prompted the appeal strategy, even as Koons and company celebrated the federal judge’s key injunctions.

It’s probably fair to expect his fight to go on for years. It may take some of the people now involved in it into retirement and beyond. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will have to consolidate all these cases across all these states and give guidance, a source told InsiderNJ.

What began in D.C. will end there, and that no doubt will prompt another legal beginning.

The full decision can be accessed here:







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3 responses to “InsiderNJ’s Fight of the Week: Platkin v. Bumb (and Guns)”

  1. This is straight from the Republican playbook.. SCOTUS has signaled its intent to declare all gun control laws unconstitutional— next up: NJ’s assault weapons ban..Dark times..

  2. I have a question for Sharon Ransavage: WHAT IS AN “ASSAULT RIFLE”????? Please define it for me and explain what it means. An assault rifle is any rifle that is AUTOMATIC firing. You pull the trigger and hold the trigger while the weapon keeps firing until you take your finger off or run out of ammo. These “assault weapons” can only be found in the military. They are M4s, M14s, M16s, SAWs (Squad Automatic Weapon; is a man-portable automatic firearm attached to infantry squads or sections as a source of rapid direct firepower), M60s.

    Civilian AR-15s, AK-47s and the like are self-defense rifles, hunting rifles, and target shooting rifles. The are SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles which means one trigger pull, one shot. They don’t keep firing automatically until you take your finger off of the trigger. SEMI-AUTOMATIC firearms consist of rifles like AR-15s, AK-47s and the like, most handguns, and semi-automatic shotguns. Many .22 caliber small bore rifles are SEMI-AUTOMATIC.

    I don’t want people telling me I can’t have a RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE because they are scared of the way a rifle looks. A pregnant woman used an AR-15 to save her husband and family from multiple armed intruders in a violent home invasion. The woman said that because there were multiple armed home invaders, the AR-15 was the EQUALIZER that saved her and her family. There are millions of cases of such self-defense that goes on every year by law-abiding citizens armed with SEMI-AUTOMATIC firearms and SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles like AR-15s, AK-47s, etc. They are the COMMONLY used self-defense weapon used by millions of Americans.

  3. NOMORE; I agree 100% ,too many folks out there do not know anything about firearms. They just regurgitate the words fed to them by Lame Stream Media and liberal politicians . Who only care on how to increase their bank accounts.

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