FILE: Gun Restriction

(The Center Square) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked a New Jersey law restricting where gun owners can carry firearms, while legal challenges over the new restrictions play out in the courts. 

U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb granted a temporary restraining order against a new state law preventing licensed firearm owners from carrying guns in at least 25 "sensitive places" like government buildings, libraries, public transportation and day care centers. 

The lawsuit, filed by the Second Amendment Foundation on behalf of several gun owners, argued that the new law is an unconstitutional overreach of the state government's authority. 

Bumb wrote in the 60-page ruling granting the injunction and released Monday that the plaintiffs have "demonstrated a probability of success" in the lawsuit and sided with their argument that the state can't "demonstrate a history of firearm regulation to support any of the challenged provisions." 

"The deprivation of plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights, as the holders of valid permits from the state to conceal carry handguns, constitutes irreparable injury, and neither the state nor the public has an interest in enforcing unconstitutional laws," Bumb wrote. 

In December, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case, which struck down a New York law requiring applicants to show “proper cause” to get a permit to carry a firearm. 

The high court's conservative majority affirmed the constitutional right to carry firearms in public places for self-defense, which has prompted reviews of firearm licensing laws in New Jersey and other states that heavily restrict gun ownership.

The new law also increases the fee for firearm permits from $2 to $25 and tightens requirements to obtain a carry permit by requiring additional training. 

Its approval was praised by gun control groups, but was met with immediate threats from gun rights groups to challenge the new restrictions in court. 

A similar lawsuit challenging the law was filed by the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, claiming it "flagrantly and intentionally" violates the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court's Bruen decision "upholding the right of honest citizens to carry firearms for personal protection."

In a statement, the Second Amendment Foundation praised the federal judge's granting of a temporary restraining order, which it said shows that "New Jersey lawmakers have gone too far in crafting a law to get around the high court’s decision."

"We are pleased that Judge Bumb recognizes the plaintiffs’ probability of success in challenging a law restricting the right to bear arms in public that has no basis in this country’s history or tradition," said Adam Kraut, the foundation's executive director.