The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a Highland Park, Illinois, ban on the sale, possession or purchase of semi-automatic weapons with the capability of holding ten or more rounds of ammunition in a clip or magazine. New Jersey has a similar ban in place, and so this ruling serves to strengthen that ban.
The decision comes at a time of increased awareness of gun laws and gun violence in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. It also comes several years after another Supreme Court decision ruled that the Second Amendment allows for individual handgun ownership for the purpose of self defense.
The Illinois State Rifle Association had mounted the challenge to the Highland Park Ban. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, leaving the ban intact.
If you own one of these weapons and had been waiting to see if the Highland Park ban would be overturned, thus opening the door for a similar reversal in New Jersey, you are currently out of luck. It's important to remember that being convicted of possessing such a banned weapon can result in stiff penalties, including jail time. An experienced criminal defense attorney, however, may be able to prove that you did not knowingly possess such a weapon, or may be able to otherwise mitigate the severe consequences you might otherwise face if convicted.
In the ongoing battle over gun rights vs. gun reform, there are bound to be additional developments regarding what degree of possession, ownership and open carrying is allowed. A knowledgeable weapons defense attorney can clarify your rights and build a strong defense if you have been charged with such a crime.