On Monday, United States District Judge Renee Marie Bumb augmented an earlier opinion temporarily blocking the enforcement of firearms in so-called 'sensitive places' including casinos. After the firearm ban was signed into law in late 2022, gun rights groups filed legal challenges. The result of those challenges is the recent court ruling pausing a ban of guns in NJ Casinos and state parks and beaches.
Federal Judge Blocks New Jersey Casino Firearm Ban
- The pause is based on a case claiming gun laws must be consistent with federal firearm regulation.
- The NJ legislative chambers can defend the law in future proceedings.
- N.J. Attorney General Matthew Platkin was disappointed in the undermining of firearm protection.
Challenging the Firearm Protection Law in N.J.
Last summer, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v Bruen that states can ban firearms in sensitive places. The ruling also said that such a law must be consistent with the country's historical tradition of firearm regulation.
For New Jersey, 19 of the 25 categories that were deemed to be sensitive places remain intact. This includes daycare facilities. Judge Bumb ruled that the pro-gun advocates fighting the Supreme Court ruling will most likely be successful in some of their claims.
In the first ruling, Bumb decided that the gun ban should be paused in restaurants and bars with alcohol sales, museums, and libraries. Entertainment facilities were included, plus private property, if the owner did not provide express consent.
This week, the judge also ruled that the pause be expanded to casinos, beaches, and parks. This puts facilities like Caesars and the Borgata at risk. State lawmakers had previously banned firearms from gaming venues and the other mentioned sites that are now part of the pause.
Bad for Public Safety
Some lawmakers do not agree with the judge's ruling, including New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin. In a statement, AG Platkin said his office is disappointed that the court decided to undermine 'important and longstanding protections against firearms violence in our public parks and in casinos.'
The AG's office plans on pushing the issue and appealing the case if needed. We can assume that casinos will also be on board with ensuring the ban stays in place as well. Casinos are already hot targets for criminals, and a gun ban helps to weed out more undesirable guests. It also helps reduce potential danger threats as fights are known to break out in clubs and even on the gaming floor.
With a ban in place, such a fight can be broken up with a minimal injury. If guns are involved, it becomes a much more dangerous situation. A huge fight broke out at Harrah's Casino just a few months ago, and a knife was involved. Three people were stabbed or slashed, while a fourth person was wanted in connection with the crime.
The three individuals survived the attack, but it could have been much worse if guns had been involved. It will be interesting to see how the pro-gun advocates argue this case and if the firearm ban proponents can push their case.
Judge Bumb seems to think the pro-gun groups have enough on their side to pause the ban. But is it what the public wants? Perhaps more insight should be given to those who often visit Atlantic City, such as casino goers or tourists. Most people would likely feel safer if a ban was in place in the public areas that tourists are known to frequent.
It could become a serious tourism issue, especially in Atlantic City, if guns are not banned from casinos or the beachfront. If incidents of violence start to occur, we could see a future slowdown in visitors to the area.
Having started in 2005 as an online writer, Sadonna has focused on the online gambling industry, with a keen knowledge of various subjects. Sadonna has followed the growing US-based gambling industry for decades, covering all the legal changes in the nation as well as information on land-based and online casinos. She enjoys updating fellow gamblers on new games, casino bonuses, and additional information for premium gaming services. In her spare time, Sadonna loves spending time with her family and singing on Smule. Sadonna hopes to continue working in the online gambling industry and building quality articles for players to learn more about the US market.