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A federal judge today told a Lakewood resident that his lawsuit against the Township's Police Department over their refusal to grant him a gun license belongs in state court, not federal court.

The judge gave him 30 days to appeal if he chooses to.

A few months ago, Andrew's Corner resident Nelson Mawalla submitted an application to the police department for a gun license. The Police Department denied his application, saying that his background check appeared to indicate that he previously pleaded guilty to a weapons offense.

The police department also told him that his application was "withdrawn."

As previously reported here on FAA News, Mr. Mawalla, who is self represented, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, which is located in Trenton, appealing the police department's decision.

"The police department told me that my application was withdrawn. This is not true. I never withdrew my application. I want to know what's going on here. I am a very responsible citizen of the USA and the Constitution does not limit how many guns that responsible citizens can own or buy," Mr. Mawalla's petition states.

In response to the police department's determination that his background check appeared to indicate that he previously pleaded guilty to a weapons offense, Mawalla wrote, "that was 18 years ago and I was only indicted and then the charge was reduced to 3 years of Court-ordered community supervision."

Mawalla added that he agrees to all protocol of gun ownership and that he does not have any criminal record which would make him not qualified to own a gun under the Constitution. Additionally, he asserted that the TSA granted him pre-check, so, on the same basis, the Lakewood Police Department should have granted him a gun license.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Kirsch today dismissed the Complaint, saying it belongs in state court, not federal court.

"From a review of the pro se Complaint, the Court can discern no federal cause of action asserted in Plaintiffs Complaint. It does not appear that Plaintiff brings a facial challenge to New Jersey's firearm permit laws or seeks money damages. Rather, Plaintiff seeks the Court to order the Lakewood Police Department to grant his firearms permit.

"New Jersey law provides a process for applicants denied a firearms permit to seek a hearing before
the New Jersey Superior Court, (see N.J.S.A. 2C: 5 8-3 (d), but that does not create a federal cause of action," Judge Kirsch wrote.

The judge gave Mr. Mawalla 30 days to file an amended complaint in federal court should be choose to do so.

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