"Kidnap victim appeals to carry handgun"
A Newton pet food store owner kidnapped in front of his shop is appealing a judge's denial of his application to carry a handgun. . . .
State Police did a background check on Muller and initially approved his application. Permits to carry handguns in New Jersey need judicial approval, and last August, state Superior Court Judge Philip Maenza in Morristown denied the application. The judge determined that Muller's fear and his experience as a victim did not meet "the justifiable need" required by statute to carry a firearm.
Muller has now asked Superior Court Judge David Ironson in Morristown to reconsider the denial. A hearing was supposed to occur Monday but has been postponed. Neither Muller nor his attorney, Dave Jensen, could immediately be reached for comment.
State Police Sgt. Steve Jones said that, for security reasons, the numbers of people in New Jersey approved to purchase a handgun and/or carry a handgun are not publicly released. According to state law, judges use a two-prong test to evaluate handgun-carrying applications on a case-by-case basis.
The test requires the court to determine whether a person is subject to a substantial threat of bodily harm while performing duties authorized by statute, and whether a handgun is necessary to reduce the threat of unjustifiable serious bodily harm.
Maenza, in a written decision last August, said: "This crime, and the fact that Mr. Muller will be called upon to testify against his captors, is the reason he has filed this application for a permit to carry a handgun. Mr. Muller, however, does not show justifiable need. Allowing a victim of a crime to carry a handgun without showing a justifiable need to carry one would be contrary to case law and the legislative intent of the statute." . . .