The Supreme Court has refused to consider a case many analysts believed might have delivered another landmark Second Amendment decision expanding gun rights, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The action affirms lower court decisions upholding a New Jersey gun permit statute that critics say is too restrictive. The question was whether the New Jersey regulation violated a fundamental right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.
The issue arrived at a time of heightened public concern about a stream of mass shootings at schools, job sites, and other public places. The challenged New Jersey law prohibits state residents from obtaining a permit to carry a handgun in public unless they can demonstrate a “justifiable need,” defined as “the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.” New Jersey issues 600 permits per year in a state with 6.7 million adults, an approval rate that those challenging the law said is microscopically low.