New Jersey Coalition for Self Defense

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Editorial: Changes Coming to New Jersey Gun Laws?

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NJCSD member Dan Roberts recently had the opportunity to editorialize on possible changes to New Jersey's gun laws. You can read it here.

However, being that we're dealing with a New Jersey news provider with limited space, what you got was a very abbreviated version that, as a result, was missing a few salient points. What follows is Dan's original article in full, which may help fill in a few blanks.


The question posed to the author was, "In light of federal court decisions striking down gun restrictions in Chicago and Washington, D.C., do you believe New Jersey will have to change some of its strict gun laws?"

Most certainly. For the last forty years the legislature, via a combination of ignorance, arrogance and no small measure of hoplophobia has finally managed to box itself into a corner with regard to the way it treats the fundamental right to firearms as codified in the Second Amendment. The entire foundation of New Jersey’s blatantly unconstitutional gun laws is found in a 1968 State Supreme Court decision; Burton v. Sills. This decision relied on an intellectually bankrupt and now discarded interpretation of the Second Amendment as pertaining only to “the militia” or National Guard. This definition is more commonly known as the “collectivist interpretation” which was eliminated once and for all in the 2008 Supreme Court case Heller v. DC.

In light of last year’s Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago, in which the Court properly found that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right just as important as the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights; and, was binding against the states via the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, New Jersey is now in an untenable and completely indefensible position with regard to its firearms laws as they are currently written.  

There are several glaring issues that as a matter of law will be overturned by a Federal Court. First and foremost, NJ firearms laws are written in such a way that bans ALL firearms and related items, and then proceed to carve out extremely technical and narrow exemptions to that blanket ban. The current legislative language is so convoluted and incomprehensible that even judges and law enforcement officials don’t understand it, as the recent case of Brian Aitken in Mt. Laurel so clearly illustrated.

Additionally, numerous Court decisions over the last several decades have consistently found that no legislature may write laws that are effectively a wholesale ban on the practice of fundamental rights, regardless of how much some people may not like the result of people’s exercising them.

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 March 2011 00:31 ) Read more...

NJCSD & MCRGO File Amicus Brief in Landmark Gun Rights Case

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WASHINGTON TWP. - The New Jersey Coalition for Self Defense (NJCSD) in partnership with the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Ownership (MCRGO) filed an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) brief on Friday in support of the Second Amendment Foundation and Association of NJ Rifle and Pistol Club's case against the State of New Jersey, which will be heard in United States District Court.  Amicus Curiae briefs help explain legal issues, and are filed by interested parties in order to help courts reach proper decisions in complex cases.

The case challenges New Jersey's concealed carry permit statute to determine whether it is in compliance with a recent US Supreme Court decision in McDonald v. Chicago which ruled that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution applies to all 50 states, meaning that no state can make a law that violates Second Amendment freedoms.

New Jersey argues that it has the right to regulate guns as it sees fit, and that its laws do not violate Constitutional protections. Plaintiffs in the case contend that Americans have an absolute human right to defend themselves, a Constitutional right to do so with handguns, and that the right to both extends outside the home where the majority of crime occurs, obviating the need for a ‘carry permit’.

The NJCSD and MCRGO posit in their brief that the state’s policies and statutes run afoul of Second Amendment protections and violate Constitutional principles.  “Regulating a right into oblivion out of the reach of the citizenry is tantamount to not having those rights at all,” said Robert Kreisler, President of the NJCSD.  “Imagine if you will a State in this day and age arguing that they can maintain Jim Crow laws where only certain citizens have rights, granting them selectively to those who are ‘connected’ while denying them to others.  It’s repulsive to think of, especially when you pause to consider it's a fundamental right to safety and survival in question.”

The two organizations observe that New Jersey’s exceedingly restrictive statutes have implications for citizens outside the state.  "MCRGO is grateful for the opportunity to weigh in on this issue. Not only are we concerned about gun rights everywhere, but we are also interested in the safety of our members and other Michigan citizens who travel to, or through, New Jersey." Said Steve Dulan, attorney for the Michigan group and a member of their Board of Directors.

With some 40 other states having systems by which to authorize firearms carry permits on a fair and reasonable basis to their citizens, it is widely speculated that New Jersey’s discretionary standard will be overturned at some point.  Whatever the outcome, appeals are almost certainly to be filed after the District Court’s decision.

The NJCSD is a volunteer citizen’s group founded in 2003 to protect our rights to defend ourselves.  For information on the NJCSD, call 877-890-5460 or visit to learn more.

The MCRGO is the nation’s largest state-based 2nd Amendment advocacy group with thousands of members.  They can be contacted at 517-484-2746, or on the web at

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 February 2011 18:19 )

He'll be Home For Christmas

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Today Governor Christie commuted the sentence of Brian Aitken from seven years to time served.

Our thanks to all who took the time to sign the petition, write or call. Your voices helped make a difference!


Free Brian Aitken - Petition Submitted

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Yesterday we finalized the gathering of electronic signatures to submit to Governor Christie requesting clemency and a commuted sentence for Briann Aitken.

Feel free to take a moment to view our cover letter in our library.  Thanks to all of you who participated.  Though we always hope for a more vigorous showing of support, nearly 270 signatures were gathered from patriotic Americans across the country, but mostly in the Garden State.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 December 2010 15:01 )
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