The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to weigh a challenge to a New Jersey law barring most gun owners from carrying their weapons outside their homes for self-defense.
The justices offered no explanation for the decision to pass on the closely watched case. Nor did they announce whether there was disagreement on the bench over the case, seen by some as a sequel to the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case.
A 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in that case affirmed an individual’s rights to possess a gun in their home for lawful purposes, including self-defense.
In Drake v. Jerejian, gun rights advocates challenged the Garden State’s statute requiring people to show a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.
“Petitioners are responsible, law-abiding citizens, who question only whether they must prove a 'justifiable need' to exercise a fundamental right,” according to a petition asking the court to take up the case.
The plaintiffs argued that New Jersey seldom grants permits from those seeking to carry their weapons out of their homes.
The case, according to the 211-page document, hinges on two questions: whether the Constitution’s Second Amendment gives gun owners the right to take their firearms out of their homes in self defense and whether the New Jersey law violates the Constitution by requiring those who wish to do so to prove a justifiable need.
The case is just one of many involving gun rights now working their way through the courts, though it remains unclear whether Chief Justice John Roberts’s court has the appetite to revisit the incendiary issue.