As expected, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation that toughens regulations to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New Jersey after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling back in June that made it easier for people to get a concealed-carry permit.

Gun safety supporters cheered the bill signing, while gun rights groups immediately went to court.

The governor said more guns equal more gun violence and “this law ensures that no matter what Washington might throw at us we will continue doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

Lawsuits filed against New Jersey gun law

Scott Bach, the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, said his group filed a lawsuit to block the law as soon as Murphy signed it.

“This is a horrible piece of legislation that interferes with the basic Constitutional right that every citizen has, it’s time New Jersey came into the present day and started recognizing peoples’ right to defend themselves,” he said.

He said before the Supreme Court ruling this summer, it was almost impossible to get a right-to-carry permit but now the state changed the rules and it’s become completely impossible to do so.

Shortly after the governor signed the measure a federal lawsuit against the state of New Jersey was also filed by the Second Amendment Foundation.

Althom GettyImages
Althom GettyImages

A court fight is brewing

Bach explained the process of attempting to overturn the law in court will take a bit of time. On Friday, the group will seek a temporary restraining order against the law.

Murphy said he signed the bill because his most sacred duty as governor is protecting the welfare of all 9.3 million Garden State residents and “this responsibility includes doing all that I can to protect our residents from senseless gun violence.”

Bach said people must have the ability to carry a concealed weapon if they so choose if they pass background checks and are properly trained.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has said repeatedly that government has no legal duty to protect citizens from harm, which means you’re on your own in an emergency.”

He said he’s confident once the case is reviewed in court “it’s going down in flames. The law will be overturned. It’s not a close call — it’s so blatantly a violation of the Second Amendment it’s not even funny.”

London Express GettyImages
London Express GettyImages

Reaction, pro and con

The New Jersey chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action praised the bill signing.

Volunteer Kathleen Dolan said “after the Supreme Court’s flawed Bruen decision we were not going to just stand by and allow guns to be carried in places like daycare centers, parks, concert and sporting venues, or train stations.

“Where the Supreme Court failed us — New Jersey lawmakers have succeeded in putting the safety of our communities above anything else. We are proud to have worked with the Legislature to get this bill passed before the New Year and look forward to continuing to take proactive safety measures to protect our state from gun violence.”

State Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, called the law "an overreaching attempt by Democrats to see how far they can go in rolling back the Supreme Court's Bruen decision while imposing even greater restrictions on law-abiding firearm owners than ever before."

"It's a shame the Democratic Majority would not work with Republicans to ensure that the concealed carry of firearms can be managed in a safe, reasonable, and constitutional way," Bucco saod. "Instead, they modeled after an extreme and clearly unconstitutional New York law that federal judges have already ruled against with new insurance requirements that may be impossible to meet.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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