New Jersey: Governor Christie Vetoes Major Anti-Gun Bills and Gun Owners Secure a Significant and Rare Victory

Posted on August 16, 2013

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Today, Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed a trio of anti-gun bills after nearly seven months of contentious public debate.  Misguided anti-gun state lawmakers introduced more than 80 anti-gun bills at the beginning of the year.  By this summer, more than a dozen bills cleared both legislative chambers and were sent to the Governor for his consideration and action.  Earlier this month, Governor Christie signed ten of those gun bills into law, but he left three deeply flawed bills for today’s action.  Your NRA-ILA was there every step of the way to oppose these onerous and overreaching bills.  Of all the legislation introduced, the three bills vetoed today were the most egregious.

S.2723, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-03), was the “centerpiece” bill of the gun control package.  This bill received a conditional veto, meaning that the bill is dead unless the state Legislature convenes and readopts this bill in a form that meets the Governor’s approval.  The state Legislature can also override this veto with a two-thirds vote.  That prospect is very unlikely given the current composition of the state Legislature.  The veto message specifically cites sections of this bill which were not acceptable.  Specifically, the Governor scratched the portions requiring mandatory training for firearm ownership and the section that would have banned private transactions.  Governor Christie also struck a component of this bill which would have encoded permit holder information on a new ID card, such as a driver’s license.

A.3659, sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18), was vetoed in its entirety.  If enacted into law, this bill would have banned .50 caliber firearms.  The NRA argued in public testimony that these firearms are used by competitive shooters and collectors, and are not misused in crime. Governor Christie agreed.

A.3797, sponsored by Assemblymen Charles Mainor (D-31) and Tim Eustace (D-38), received a conditional veto.  If enacted, this bill would have required the State Police to issue reports on gun trace data, which is clearly a violation of federal law.

NRA members did a tremendous job contacting state legislators and the Governor.  Although anti-gun lawmakers ignored constituent messages and in some cases severely restricted public testimony, gun owners prevailed today as the Governor made the right decision on the three most consequential bills.  However, New Jersey NRA members must remain vigilant.  Despite the daunting challenge ahead, your NRA-ILA will continue to work actively against anti-gun bills and push for legislation that corrects many of the flaws in current law in the future.

Please contact Governor Chris Christie and thank him for striking down these three gun control bills.  You can contact the Governor at 609-292-6000, or click here to send an email using the online contact form.

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