In the case titled Marc Stephens vs Jerejian, et al, 15-3992, 2:14-cv-06688-WJM-MF, Plaintiff Marc Stephens is seeking to strike down New Jersey’s Firearm law as facially unconstitutional and in violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
“The Militia is armed by Congress in Article I Section 8, Clause 16 of the US Constitution. The People are Armed in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t give us rights, it protects the common law rights“, says Marc Stephens.
The Fourteenth Amendment reads, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
On January 11, 2013, Marc Stephens was compelled to file an application and take fingerprint scanning for a firearm with the Englewood Police Department.
On June 4, 2013, Marc Stephens received a letter from Chief Arthur O’Keefe of the Englewood Police Department denying his firearm application. The reason for the denial was not due to criminal history, age, or mental condition, but for ‘Public Health Safety and Welfare’.
On September 13, 2013, Marc filed an appeal with the Superior Court of New Jersey in Hackensack. Marc argued that he has a constitutional right under the second and fourteenth amendment, and according to Heller and McDonald, to keep and bear arms at home and in public.
In New Jersey, a Judge will not issue a firearm permit or license if an individual does not show proof of “justifiable need”, “serious threats”, or if a person is considered disqualified pursuant to 2C:58-3c,, which reads, “No person of good character and good repute in the community in which he lives, and who is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in this section or other sections of this chapter, shall be denied a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card, except as hereinafter set forth”.
The ‘disabilities’ are: (1) conviction of crimes or other offenses; (2) drug-dependency, confinement to a mental institution, or habitual drunkenness; (3) physical defects or diseases that would make it unsafe to handle firearms, mental disorders, alcoholism, or falsification of the application; (4) age under twenty-one; (5) contrary interest of the public health, safety, or welfare; (6) an active domestic violence restraining order; (7) juvenile adjudications that involved use or possession of a weapon; and (8) seizure of firearms under a domestic violence order.
On November 15, 2013, on cross-examination Sgt. George Alston testified the following:
Marc Stephens: I would like to get into the application process with your investigation. According to the way you guys approve the application did you find any convictions that would deny the application for a firearm?
Sgt. Alston: No
Marc Stephens: Where there any mental conditions?
Sgt. Alston: Nothing from the county of Bergen.
Marc Stephens: Nothing that would deny the application based on mental conditions?
Sgt. Alston: Right.
Marc Stephens: Any age restrictions?
Sgt. Alston: none
Marc Stephens: In regards to a denial of the application based on the welfare and safety of the public was there anything specific in regards to convictions, mental conditions, or age restrictions that would stop the application from being approved?
Sgt. Alston: No. Nothing on paper.
On February 14, 2014, Sgt. Fred Pulice from the Englewood Police Department testified that the ‘death threats’ against Marc Stephens are “serious threats”, (Audio Timeframe 3:07:02).
Judge Jerejian denied Marc Stephens application for a firearm license due to “Public Safety Concerns” claiming that Marc Stephens may “take the law into his own hands”.
On October 27, 2014, Marc Stephens, pro se, filed an independent Civil Complaint with the District Court which facially challenged the constitutionality of the entire New Jersey Firearm Statues enacted by its Legislature, ECF no. 6, pages 1-41.
Marc argued that, “The root of New Jersey’s firearm regulations requiring such as “permits” and “licenses”, are derived from slavery, and motivated by racism and discrimination".
“In October 1694, "An Act concerning Slaves” was enacted in New Jersey; [§1] WHEREAS complaint is made by the inhabitants of this Province, that they are greatly injured by slaves having liberty to carry guns...” East New Jersey Laws, October 1694, ch.II, "An Act concerning Slaves, &c.," L&S 340-342. In New Jersey, "An Act to prevent...Carrying of Guns..by Persons not qualified was enacted," [“And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act nor any part thereof, shall be construed to extend to Negro, Indian or Mullato Slaves…, without Lisence from his Master…”
"[T]he State cannot interfere with the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms”. McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S. Ct. 3020, at 3077-3083, and that, “The state cannot enact any gun control law” that they deem to be reasonable. Time and again, however, those pleas failed. Unless we turn back the clock or adopt a special incorporation test applicable only to the Second Amendment, municipal respondents' argument must be rejected”, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S. Ct. 3020 - Supreme Court 2010 at 3046”.
Heller states, In Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 251 (1846) “Its opinion perfectly captured the way in which the operative clause of the Second Amendment furthers the purpose announced in the prefatory clause, in continuity with the English right: "The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is, that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right, originally belonging to our forefathers, trampled under foot by Charles I. and his two wicked sons and successors, re-established by the revolution of 1688, conveyed to this land of liberty by the colonists, and finally incorporated conspicuously in our own Magna Charta!" Id at 2809.
“It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right”. Id at 2817. ("A statute which, under the pretence of regulating, amounts to a destruction of the right, or which requires arms to be so borne as to render them wholly useless for the purpose of defence, would be clearly unconstitutional", State v. Reid, 1 Ala. 612, 616-617 (1840)). Id at 2818.
“States formally prohibited blacks from possessing firearms. Others enacted legislation prohibiting blacks from carrying firearms without a license, a restriction not imposed on whites”, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., 130 S. Ct. 3020 - Supreme Court 2010 at 3082”.
“Prior to the Act Concerning Slaves, even slaves carried firearms without a license, or the permission from their master. That is a clear indication that the right to keep and bear arms is a common law right for citizens”, says Marc.
On August 4, 2015, the court dismissed Marc Stephens’ civil complaint with prejudice holding that New Jersey Firearm permit and licensing laws are constitutional under Drake v. Filko, 724 F.3d 426, 429 (3d Cir. 2013), Opinion and Order, ECF no. 17, 18.
On August 8, 2015, Marc Stephens filed a motion for reconsideration stating that the court overlooked his constitutional argument because Drake vs Filko does not supersede the United States Supreme Court opinion, ECF no 19.
On November 13, 2015, the court denied Marc Stephens first motion for reconsideration stating, “Plaintiff fails to demonstrate why this Court should reconsider its prior ruling. Consequently, Plaintiff—in his only remaining argument—fails to show how this Court overlooked a clear error of law or fact”, Opinion and Order ECF no. 23, 24.
On November 19, 2015, Marc Stephens filed a second motion for reconsideration in order to address, for the first time, the District Court statement that he “failed to show” how the Court overlooked a clear error of law or fact. Marc simply pointed to his evidence on file proving that he did list the clear errors of fact and law, ECF no 25.
On December 1, 2015, the court denied Marc Stephens second motion for reconsideration, Order ECF no. 26.
On December 15, 2015, Marc Stephens “timely filed his notice of appeal” pursuant to rule 59(e), 14 days later, ECF No. 28. Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A)(iv) states, “If a party timely files in the district court any of the following motions under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the time to file an appeal runs for all parties from the entry of the order disposing of the last such remaining motion”.
On January 22, 2016, Marc Stephens Motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted, Doc. #003112186355.
On January 27, 2016, Marc Stephens filed his Argument in Support of the Appeal as requested by the Panel, Doc no. 003112190648.
On June 16, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit dismissed Marc Stephens Appeal stating Marc’s second motion for reconsideration did not toll the time to appeal, and Marc did not file a timely appeal within 30 days. The Panel stated they will not review his constitutional argument on the merits, ECF no. 29, Doc. #003112327937.
On June 23, 2016, Marc Stephens filed a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc. Marc raised several arguments one which included, “There is no indication that the court meant to limit the usual rule that the district court is free to reconsider its decisions based on any reasonable ground”, cf. Rosen v. Rucker, 905 F.2d 702, 707 n. 5 (3d Cir.1990) (second motion which is first request for reconsideration of issue arising only after court's original order treated as a Rule 59(e) motion for purposes of Fed.R.App.P. 4(a)(4) when it is first opportunity to reconsider issue (in that case, delay damages)). Bane v. Netlink, Inc., 925 F. 2d 637 - Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 1991, footnote 1.
On July 13, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit dismissed Marc Stephens request for rehearing and rehearing en banc.
Marc is currently preparing to file a petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court in October 2016.
Marc needs several Amicus Curiae Briefs, which cost up to $50,000 - $100,000 each.
The Amicus Curiae Briefs, which in latin means “Friend of the Court” are used by third parties, who are not a party to the case, but have a strong interest in the matter. Each party will submit a brief to inform the Supreme Court that the case is credible, and is of high public concern.
Marc received email confirmation from several lawyers, and second amendment defenders, stating that they would assist with providing the Amicus Curiae Briefs if his petition is approved.
Marc is searching for assistance of amicus briefs in support of his petition.
In order to raise the funds for the briefs, Marc Stephens self-published a book titled “Facially Unconstitutional”.
In the book, Marc reveals absolutely astonishing information regarding the history of New Jersey’s legislature passing ‘stealthy laws’ to discriminate against African Americans that possessed firearms.
You can purchase Facially Unconstitutional by Marc A. Stephens at www.marcastephens.com.
The book, which contains all of Marc’s legal briefs filed with the State, District, and Appellate court, is available for immediate download. There is also a book trailer on the website which is absolutely amazing, a must watch.
You can contact Marc Stephens about the amicus briefs at www.marcastephens.com.