TRENTON, NJ (August 12, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and its FPC Law team announced the filing of a new federal Second Amendment lawsuit, Francisco v. Cooke, challenging New Jersey’s unconstitutional restrictions and local practices that prevent residents from exercising their right to carry loaded handguns in public for self-defense. The complaint can be found at FPCLegal.org.
The lawsuit was filed by New York-based firm Joshpe Mooney Paltzik LLP on behalf of Daniel Francisco, the president of advocacy organization Blue Star Union, a councilman for Englishtown, New Jersey and former Executive Director at Project Veritas, as well as Ori Katzin, the co-owner of a local interior design firm, a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces, and a certified firearms instructor. Katzin alleges in the complaint that he was attacked in an assault caught on camera and documented with police authorities. In spite of their legal eligibility to possess firearms and desire to carry handguns for self-defense, Francisco and Katzin were both denied a permit by New Jersey local police officials and judges, who are named as defendants in the case, along with state officials.
Edward Paltzik, an attorney for the firm representing FPC, said, “For far too long, New Jersey has systematically denied law-abiding citizens their Second Amendment right to protect themselves outside of their homes by imposing arbitrary and unconstitutional requirements. Especially with violent crime on the rise, this scheme allowing government officials to deny people the right to self-defense must end.”
New Jersey law makes it a crime for law-abiding individuals to carry a loaded handgun outside of the home unless they have been issued a permit to carry a handgun, thus denying them their right to bear arms. State law requires permit applicants to demonstrate a “justifiable need,” among other requirements.
Daniel Franciso stated in his “Letter of Need” as part of his permit applications that, “I wish to carry a loaded, operable handgun on my person for self-defense and for all other lawful purposes outside my home and in other public places.” His application was denied by his town’s chief of police, Peter S. Cooke, Kr., and Judge Lourdes Lucas on the basis that he failed to demonstrate “justifiable need” to carry a handgun outside his home.
Ori Katzin, who has received extensive civilian and military training in the use of firearms, received a denial on his carry permit application in August 2018 despite detailing how he is “under substantial threat of unjustifiable serious bodily harm.”
The lawsuit states that “due to the onerous nature of Defendants’ Regulatory Scheme, only a tiny fraction of a percent of New Jersey citizens are able to obtain permits to carry handguns, and indeed, most people simply never apply at all because it is well known throughout the State that the ‘justifiable need’ standard effectively renders the process an exercise in futility for all ordinary law-abiding citizens, thus further chilling and denying exercise of the right.”
Individuals that are interested in joining FPC in the fight against tyranny can become a member of the FPC Grassroots Army for just $25 at JoinFPC.org.
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:
- A challenge to New York City’s ban on handgun carry (Greco v. New York City)
- A merits-stage Supreme Court brief providing the justices with the English history of the right to bear arms in support of a challenge to New York’s unconstitutional “may issue” scheme
- A challenge to the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. ATF)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh)
- A challenge to California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Miller v. Bonta) that resulted in a post-trial judgment and permanent injunction against the challenged regulations, the first such victory in United States history
- A challenge to California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Bonta)
- A challenge to California’s firearm purchase rationing ban (1-in-30 day limit) (Nguyen v. Bonta)
- A challenge to Minnesota’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Worth v. Harrington)
- A challenge to Illinois’ ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Meyer v. Raoul)
- A challenge to Georgia's ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Baughcum v. Jackson)
- A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on handgun carry (Call v. Jones)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Lara v. Evanchick)
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org), the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, lead the Second Amendment litigation and research space.