Ordinance # 06-116 – whose stated objective was to reduce crime – wildly missed the mark by rationing handguns to persons pre-certified by the State as non-criminals after undergoing extensive background checks.
The ordinance criminalized Jersey City dealer sales of more than one handgun per month, deviating from New Jersey’s already tough gun control laws, which require separate government-issued permits for each handgun. Permits are only issued after an extensive, costly, and lengthy background investigation of the purchaser.
The invalidated law was introduced by Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy earlier this year, in a rush to appear to be combating Jersey City’s mounting crime problems. The City Council passed the law by a vote of 6-2, despite a mountain of evidence that the law would not reduce crime because it targeted only law abiding purchasers. The President of the City Council even called the measure “feel good” legislation that would probably not reduce crime – before voting in favor of the law.
The lawsuit was brought by the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) as lead plaintiff with the support of NRA-ILA, the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, and the New Jersey Association of Firearms Dealers (an affiliate of the National Shooting Sports Foundation).