Jeff Muller was kidnapped from his pet foods store in Newton, New Jersey last year. The five kidnappers from Missouri thought Muller was the man who had swindled one of their friends. The only problem is that they had the wrong Jeff Muller.
|Photo by Lake Ozark Police Department|
Fortunately, Mr. Muller was able to escape his kidnappers in Missouri when their car broke down. After his return to New Jersey, he applied for a concealed carry permit in New Jersey as, at the time, some of the kidnappers were still at large. While approved for it by the NJ State Police, he was turned down by Judge Philip Maenza. This denial is at the heart of the Second Amendment Foundation case brought challenging NJ’s concealed carry laws.
Fast forward to today. In Morris County Superior Court, Judge David Ironson denied Mr. Muller’s appeal of his permit denial saying that “failed to provide ‘proof of justifiable need’ to carry a handgun and said he should take his case to a state appeals court.” Currently, four of the five kidnappers are in jail awaiting trial in Sussex County, NJ. However, the fifth kidnapper, Roy Slates, has served his time and is now out of prison.
As Mr. Muller said:
In an interview after the hearing, Muller said he needs to carry a handgun because “there’s the potential” of the five kidnappers’ family members “coming after me to get revenge.”
“They could send anybody out after me,” Muller said, noting that “the way we live has changed” since the ordeal. “Everything’s locked,” he said.
“I think about it every day,” Muller said. “I look at everybody who comes in my store.”
If anyone has ever met the definition of “justifiable need” for the State of New Jersey to approve a concealed carry permit it is Jeff Muller.
Judge Ironson has been on the bench since 2008. Before his being named a Superior Court judge, David Ironson was a personal injury lawyer. You would think that even a pond-scum sucking ambulance chaser might recognize that the concept of “justifiable need” applied in Jeff Muller’s case.
Independence. Integrity. Fairness. Quality Service. Those words are emblazoned under the logo of the New Jersey Court system. Judge Ironson just made a mockery of at least two of them.