New Jersey Firearms Law Could Lead NYPD Police to Be Arrested
Under a new law, New York officers could be arrested in New Jersey if they travel through the state of New Jersey, off-duty, with a high-capacity firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds. However, legislation is pending which would allow officers to travel with the firearms between the two states, even while they are off-duty.
New Jersey passed the law in response to a high number of mass shooting incidents on the rise in the U.S. and the fact that most shooters obtained their guns legally. The philosophy is that limiting the amount of ammunition that can be held in a firearm magazine to no more than ten rounds would reduce one’s ability to hurt people in the instance of mass shootings. New Jersey is the ninth state to pass laws restricting magazine capacity under the justification that “LCMs” (magazine capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition) are not necessary for self-defense, can result in indiscriminate firing, and tend to be used in mass shootings. Research shows that, when shooters have to pause to reload because they do not have access to magazines like these, this gives victims the chance to escape and bystanders and/or law enforcement a chance to intervene.
Does The Law Violate Civil Rights?
The law was recently challenged as violating the Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and upheld by a federal appeals court in December. Specifically, the court found that the law:
- Reasonably meets the State’s interest in public safety;
- Does not place an unconstitutional burden on the Second Amendment’s right to self-defense in one’s home;
- Does not violate the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause because it allows gun owners to retain or register any modified magazines instead of surrendering them; and
- Does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause by permitting law enforcement officers, but not regular everyday citizens, to possess magazines that hold more than ten rounds because officers have specific training to do so.
The District Court held that while the Second Amendment is implicated in a ban on magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds, it does not violate the Second Amendment because it places a minimal burden on lawful gun owners and is reasonably tailored to achieve the state’s goal of reducing the number of fatalities in mass shootings. Laws that severely burden the Second Amendment’s right to self-defense in the home are subject to strict scrutiny, while laws that do not severely burden the core protection of the Second Amendment enjoy intermediate scrutiny.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Weapons Defense Attorneys
Weapons charges in New Jersey carry serious consequences. If you have been accused of a weapons charge, you should speak with our experienced criminal defense attorneys right away. Contact us at the office of Phillip J. Murphy today to find out more.