Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly took another step toward finalizing extreme gun control measures which have been hotly contested all year. Despite loud protest from lawful gun owners across the Garden State over the last several months, state lawmakers continued on their relentless course toward even more gun control. Rather than address New Jersey’s real violent crime problem, the Assembly passed Assembly Bill 3659, sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18) by a 41-33 vote, with three members not voting. This bill would ban the possession of certain firearms of .50 caliber or greater. Despite the fact that there are no known reports of these firearms being used in the commission of a crime, anti-gun legislators ignored the hard evidence in order to advance their agenda.
Another dangerous bill, Senate Bill 2723 introduced by Senator Stephen Sweeney (D-3), also passed in the Assembly by a 43-34-1 vote. This bill, among other things, requires New Jersey residents to demonstrate that they have completed training simply to purchase a firearm. This bill also ties the FID permits to a drivers license or another form of identification, creating serious privacy issues. Senate Bill 2723 now goes back to the state Senate for a concurrence vote which is likely to be scheduled for this Thursday, June 27.
This final Assembly action caps off a session full of folly. Several weeks ago, anti-gun legislators were caught discussing “confiscation” on a live microphone after a committee hearing. More recently, an Assembly committee was embroiled in a controversy surrounding illegal voting procedures. The actions of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee are proof-positive that gun control advocates are ruthless and willing to bend the rules to advance their misguided agenda. The Chairman of this committee, Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), abruptly halted the roll call vote on Senate Bill 2723 when it was obvious the bill did not have enough votes to pass. Rather than respect the vote of the committee and their legislative rules, this bill was moved to another committee where the outcome was predetermined and the substitute committee simply rubberstamped the bill which was failing in its original committee.
Despite these discouraging and embarrassing actions, one highlight was passage of Assembly Bill 3788. Sponsored by Assemblyman David Rible (R-30), AB 3788 passed unanimously in the Assembly and will protect the personal purchase permit information of gun owners in New Jersey.
It is critical that you contact your state Senator and respectfully urge them oppose anti-gun legislation in New Jersey and instead focus on prosecuting criminals.
Contact information for your state Senators can be found here.