Interesting news out of New Jersey.
Via Washington Post:
Yes, says the New Jersey (!) Supreme Court in yesterday’s unanimous State v. Montalvo opinion; here are the facts, from the court’s syllabus:
This appeal concerns whether an individual may lawfully possess and hold a weapon for self-defense in his home while answering the front door.
Defendant Crisoforo Montalvo and his wife lived directly above Arturs Daleckis and his wife. On the night of March 24, 2012, Daleckis grew agitated by noise emanating from Montalvo’s unit; he stood on his bed and knocked on the ceiling three or four times. Montalvo then proceeded downstairs and knocked on Daleckis’s door. Montalvo picked up a small table belonging to Daleckis and threw it off the front porch, breaking it.
After Montalvo returned to his unit, Daleckis knocked on the door. Montalvo and his wife testified that they heard knocking, kicking, and slamming on the door. Montalvo testified that he became scared for himself, his wife, and their unborn child. As a precautionary measure, Montalvo retrieved a machete from a closet as he moved to answer the door. Daleckis testified that Montalvo pointed the machete at him. Montalvo testified that he kept the machete in his hand, behind his leg, and below his waist while speaking with Daleckis.
Montalvo was acquitted of “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose” (Count One, in the discussion below) but convicted of “unlawful possession of a weapon” (Count Two). At trial, the judge included a self-defense instruction as to the unlawful-purpose charge but didn’t give it as to the unlawful-possession charge.
Read more here.