The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) has asked the lower federal court to resolve its lawsuits challenging New Jersey’s magazine ban and assault firearms ban. ANJRPC filed motions for summary judgment and to exclude expert witness testimony in the combined cases on October 10, 2023.
Summary judgment is a request for the court to rule in favor of one party without a trial. If granted, ANJRPC’s motion for summary judgment would end the cases in favor of gun owners.
ANJRPC’s motion to exclude expert witness testimony is based on the argument that the State’s experts are attempting to substitute legal argument with irrelevant, inflammatory rhetoric.
The next step in the cases is for the State to respond to ANJRPC’s motions by November 3, 2023. Two further rounds of briefing are then scheduled to occur, concluding on December 22, 2023. Oral argument of the motions will then likely be held in early 2024, followed by an eventual decision by the court.
If the lower court rules against the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs on either of its motions, the cases will almost certainly be appealed to the middle-level federal appeals court.
ANJRPC’s magazine ban lawsuit was given new life in 2022 when the U.S. Supreme Court returned it to the lower federal court for reconsideration in light of the Bruen decision. The Bruen decision held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.
Since the Bruen decision, the magazine ban case has been tied up in a procedural tangle of court-ordered discovery. Discovery is the process of exchanging information between the parties in a lawsuit. In the magazine ban case, the discovery was recently completed.
In the meantime, ANJRPC filed a separate lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s assault firearms ban. The assault firearms ban prohibits the possession of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines.
The lower federal court consolidated the magazine ban and assault firearms ban cases in August 2023.
The outcome of ANJRPC’s lawsuits could have significant implications for gun owners in New Jersey and across the country. If ANJRPC is successful, the court could strike down New Jersey’s magazine ban and assault firearms ban, setting a precedent for other challenges to similar laws in other states.