- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The
U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to a 1990
New Jersey law that banned assault weapons.
- Those challenging the law included a group called the
Coalition of New Jersey Sportsmen, two firearms manufacturers, a licensed
dealer and individual firearm owners.
- They argued the ban was unconstitutionally vague and
violated their constitutional rights to free speech, free association and
- A federal judge and then a U.S. appeals court upheld
the law. Violators of the ban face between three and five years in
- In appealing to the Supreme Court, the opponents said
the law covered 66 named models and "substantially identical"
firearms. They questioned whether it provided sufficient notice to firearms
owners and adequate standards for the police.
- New Jersey defended the law, saying it was not intended
to cover firearms used for legitimate hunting or target shooting. It said
the federal government had banned the imports of 58 types of assault
and had outlawed such weapons.
- The state said no compelling reason existed for the
Court to hear the case and added that the law did not violate any
right. The justices denied the appeal without any comment or dissent.
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