New Jersey says "no thanks" to allowing discovery into its permit system.

A few weeks ago, we requested that we be allowed limited discovery into New Jersey's "justifiable need" scheme. Unsurprisingly, New Jersey does not believe we should be allowed to make our case.

Here's what we are asking for:

(1) Number of permit applications; (2) Number of permits granted; (3) “Justifiable Need” basis for granted and denied permits; (4) Race, gender and type of employment of the applicant; (5) a breakdown by County, including Sussex county; (6) additional limited discovery related to permits and justifiable need; and (7) terror-related threats/incidents in New Jersey.

Here is New Jersey's response:

"... the Court should exercise restraint and not permit the parties to engage in fact discovery because '[w]ithout jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause.' Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. 506, 514 (1868)."

***

"... the information related to applicants for permits to carry a handgun in New Jersey is confidential under State law in order to protect the highly sensitive personal information that applicants submit. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1; N.J.A.C. 13:54-1.15; see S. N.J. Newspapers, Inc. v. Twp. of Mt. Laurel, 660 A.2d 1173 (N.J. 1994). And to the extent any information related to permit to carry applications is non-confidential, Plaintiffs have other means to obtain that information which would not require them to resort to discovery in the context of this case."

Notice, we did not ask for identifying information as to whom a permit is issued. We just want the basic facts surrounding the applicant. Now, we wait for the Court to decide.


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