Can we get Evan Nappen to join us at the Gunblogger’s Rendezvous?? He’s my Hero.
From No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money we are absolutely delighted to learn an absolute travesty of Justice-System abuse has been righted, and “Even In New Jersey The Second Amendment Applies” (read it all at the link)
On Friday, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in New Jersey overturned the trial court in a case involving the denial of a firearms permit and ordered the return of Justin Blasko’s firearms absent any new disqualifying events. They made their decision on Second Amendment grounds.
Mr Blasko’s troubles started when his apartment’s building superintendent entered to fix his air conditioner and saw “assault weapons” along with other stuff including a four foot alligator. The super called police and they entered the apartment, seized his firearms, and issued him a summons for the alligator, a snake, and a leg-hold trap. They also filed a complaint that he had an illegal assault weapon.
Blasko entered a Pre-Trial Intervention program and the charges were eventually all dismissed. Moreover, the state later acknowledged that the alleged “assault weapons” were not in fact assault weapons as covered by NJ law. Following the dismissal of the charges, Blasko requested his firearms back.
Finally: The court then examined whether New Jersey law required Mr. Blasko to keep his firearms locked up in a safe or with other devices such as a trigger lock. More importantly, they examined this in the context of the US Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald. They concluded safe storage laws did not apply to Mr. Blasko as he was neither a commercial enterprise nor did he have minor children. They also concluded that based upon the Heller decision he was allowed to have his firearms accessible.
Despite a preference for the safe storage of weapons with safety locks, we conclude a law abiding adult, living alone without children, who openly leaves weapons in a locked apartment, insufficiently supports a finding of conduct contrary to the interest of the public health, safety or welfare pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5). See Heller, supra, 554 U.S. at 635, 128 S. Ct. at 2822, 171 L. Ed. 2d at 683 (holding “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment.
Mr. Blasko’s attorney was well-known gun law attorney Evan Nappen. More on the case can be found here. Nappen notes that this is the first time a higher court in New Jersey expressely applied the Second Amendment to a gun seizure case. This is definitely a win for gun rights in New Jersey and it was made possible by the careful building of Second Amendment case law by Alan Gura and others.