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GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SIGNS GUN BILLS! NO ACTION TAKEN YET ON SWEENEY FID BILL OR .50 CALIBER BAN!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Please keep contacting the Governor's Office!

Governor Chris Christie signed 10 gun bills into law today.  Of the bills signed, two benefit gun owners and two were opposed by NRA.  The remaining six bills have a negligible impact on gun owners and were not opposed.  Most importantly, the three most egregious bills which NRA lobbied strongly against remain on the Governor’s desk.  It is critical that gun owners continue to contact Gov. Christie’s office and respectfully ask him to oppose those measures.

The bills we are urging Gov. Christie to veto include: the Sweeney "centerpiece" FID bill, the .50 caliber ban, and the trace data bill that would require the State Police to violate federal law.

S2723 the Sweeney "omnibus" bill, throws out existing FID cards and replaces them with either a privacy-invading driver license endorsement or other form of ID; suspends Second Amendment rights without proof of firearms training; ends private sales between background-checked licensed gun owners; effectively creates a registry of ammunition purchases and long gun sales; and imposes a 7-day waiting period for handgun purchases.

A3659 the .50 caliber gun ban, which in its final version bans firearms that shoot centerfire cartridges of any caliber that attain a muzzle energy of 12,000 ft-lbs. or greater.  Though limited grandfathering has been added in response to gun owner concerns, the firearms must be registered, cannot be passed down to heirs, and owners will be civilly liable for damages if the firearm is used in a crime.  Additionally, the bill has been amended specifically to prevent anyone with a pending order for these firearms from taking possession of them.

A3797 mandates that the State Police publicly disclose confidential ATF gun trace data in violation of explicit federal law limiting that data to law enforcement use only. This is an attempt by frustrated anti-gun extremists to circumvent the federal Tiarht Amendment, so that idiosyncrasies of the ATF's trace system can be exploited and manipulated to falsely suggest that law-abiding citizens are a source of "crime guns."  ATF has opposed similar efforts to circumvent confidentiality, which could compromise ongoing investigations. Note: a conditional veto by the Governor removing just the offending parts of A3797 would be sufficient.

The Governor signed two bills that benefit law-abiding gun owners.  A3788  prevents public disclosure of personal information of licensed firearms owners, including name, address, and phone number.  The legislation prevents a repeat of what happened in New York State in January, when several newspapers obtained personal information of Empire State gun owners via freedom of information requests and then published that information both in print and on the internet.  Publishing personal information of gun owners jeopardizes their safety and makes them targets for gun theft, in addition to raising significant privacy concerns. 

A3796  addresses an anomaly in New Jersey's "assault" firearms statute that prevents those still in possession of banned firearms from lawfully disposing of them.  This bill reopens a compliance window for a short time during which banned firearms could be lawfully disposed of.  Although the compliance window is too short, and the bill fails to allow for lawful disposition of banned magazines and ammunition, it nonetheless offers a limited compliance opportunity that is a temporary improvement over current law.

The two harmful bills that were passed include A3687 and A3717.  A3687, the Terror Watch List bill, makes it possible to suspend Second Amendment rights without a specified requirement of due process, based on a secret government list compiled by federal bureaucrats with no published standards, no identified procedure to correct errors, and potential for enormous abuse by those in power.  While the bill title suggests this legislation is practical, the problems outlined above are in the fine details. 

A3717 requires submission of certain mental health records to NICS without an explicit, stated requirement of due process.  NRA has no objection to adjudications of mental incompetence being reported to NICS, however, we raised objections because the bill failed to confine its scope to ONLY records of those persons who have had judicial due process (with a right of appeal).

It is critical that the Governor's office continue to hear from gun owners and our opposition to S2723, A3659 and A3797.  Call the Governor's office NOW at 609-292-6000 or email.

 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.