Christie’s commission pitches gun law changes including redefining “justifiable need”

Christie at a June 2014 town hall meeting in South Jersey.

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

This one will turn heads, Save Jerseyans.

Amidst its ongoing gun control battle with the state legislature, the Christie Administration is releasing (and embracing) a report of the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission containing recommendations to transform New Jersey’s gun control laws and regulations.

The biggest change? A “common sense expansion” of the “justifiable need” provision of the New Jersey Administrative Code which Second Amendment activists (and your Save Jersey bloggers) have rightly criticized for holding up the process of lawful citizens legally obtaining firearms. The new proposed standard will help those who “can demonstrate an urgent necessity for self-protection by articulating serious threats, specific threats, or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot reasonably be avoided by other means could obtain a carry permit if they are otherwise qualified.” The applicant will “show that he/she could not take other reasonable steps to avoid the danger” instead of needing to prove “there is anything the applicant could do to avoid the danger.”

christie staring at town hallToday’s news comes after Governor Christie signed Executive Order No. 180 back in June 2015 creating the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission. Critics will inevitable point to his need to shore up conservative support in New Hampshire, where he has been criticized by gun groups, to explain today’s announcement.

#2A proponents will say it doesn’t go far enough; after all, why do I need to justify my exercise of a constitutional right? They’d like New Jersey to become a “shall issue” state.

For the Governor, it’s a common sense change to an “unfair” consequence of the current law citing the tragic murder of Carol Bowne while she waited in vain for a gun permit to protect herself from an ex-boyfriend against whom she had a valid restraining order.

“New Jersey’s extraordinarily strict and expansive gun control laws and regulations have given rise to rules and restrictions that are complicated and unfair to law abiding New Jerseyans,” explained the Governor in a statement. “The terrible tragedy involving Berlin resident Carol Bowne this past summer, and far too many instances of gun owners facing severe criminal penalties when they have no intent to violate the law, compelled the need to take a fresh look at whether our laws and rules around gun ownership are working.  I thank the Study Commission for taking on this charge.”

The proposed changes will also impact firearm transport and the speed of issuance of permits. I’m still working through it…

A full copy of the report is viewable HERE.


Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.


  1. This changes nothing, it’s shit! It still means we ALL get turned down because the liberal, anti constitutional judges and political dipshits still get to decide what THEY feel is justified. ..this is more DO NOTHING Bullshit from Christie.

  2. The statement made by the commission doesn’t change anything “justifiable need” is still a subjective decision based on the feelings, political leanings and opinion of the deciding authority. Which still makes it unconstitutional. Because someone else gets to decide if I can “justify” my need to protect myself and my family rather than me having a specific skill set or are otherwise qualified.

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