Judge Blocks New Jersey Gun Industry Lawsuit Law

February 1, 2023

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a New Jersey law that would allow the state’s Attorney General to sue gun sellers and manufacturers if their practices endanger public safety.

U.S. District Judge Zahid Nisar Quraishi, a Biden appointee, issued the preliminary injunction, stating in a 20-page opinion that the law appeared to be at odds with the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 which shields the gun industry from lawsuits when their products are used in the commission of a crime. 

Judge Quraishi’s decision came one day after another judge in New Jersey, U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb, a Bush appointee, temporarily blocked parts of the state’s concealed carry law, allowing for the time being guns to be carried in New Jersey’s public parks, on beaches and in casinos.

federal judge last year tossed out a lawsuit from the gun industry challenging a law in New York similar to New Jersey’s lawsuit legislation. Meanwhile, other blue states like Delaware and California have enacted similar legislation that aims to open the gun industry to legal action.

The gun rights group the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which brought the challenge to New Jersey’s law, said it hopes Tuesday’s decision sends other states the message to rethink their statutes.

“NSSF wholeheartedly welcomes this decision,” said an NSSF spokesperson.

A spokesperson for Murphy said the governor was “disappointed” by Tuesday’s order, but is “confident that this decision will be swiftly reversed on appeal.”

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