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US panel upholds NJ law on handgun permits

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has upheld a New Jersey gun law that requires people to show a “justifiable need” to carry a handgun in public.

A 3rd U.S. Circuit Court panel says the U.S. Constitution does not necessarily protect the right to bear arms beyond one’s home.

The 2-1 decision Wednesday upholds a lower court decision that went against the four individuals and two groups who filed suit.

The New Jersey law requires gun owners to show an urgent, “justifiable need” to carry a handgun for self-defense. The plaintiffs call the resulting permit decisions arbitrary.

The century-old New Jersey law is similar to one in New York.

The ruling says the state of New Jersey has “a significant, substantial and important interest in protecting its citizens’ safety.”