A new Governor took the reins from Gov. Chris Christie this week, and a new Legislature has been sworn into office. However, much will remain the same in the Garden State, including the annual onslaught of anti-guns bills being put into the hopper in Trenton. The real danger this year is that anti-gun lawmakers have expanded their majorities in both chambers to the largest margins in decades, coupled with having potentially one of the most anti-gun Governors in the history of the state.
In the coming months, we anticipate large public hearings on a number of critical issues. It's essential that gun owners remain vigilant and participate by attending hearings and communicating with their lawmakers at the appropriate times.
Despite having some of the most onerous gun laws in the country, New Jersey politicians are still aggressively pushing their political agenda. At the end of this week, 72 bills dealing with "weapons" have been introduced. By way of disclaimer, some of those bills included pro-gun bills and issues like stun guns, but only a tiny minority. The vast majority of these bills were bad measures intended to punish law-abiding gun owners. It's important to remember that not all of these bills will move. Some of them have a single sponsor and will sit in the hopper like they did for the last two years. However, based on the election rhetoric of new Gov. Phil Murphy and anti-gun Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, they plan to aggressively push a number of these issues.
Rest assured, NRA will be there every step of the way fighting against these relentless attacks on New Jersey gun owners. Some of these restrictions are so over-the-top that, even if signed, their constitutionality and ability to withstand judicial scrutiny is questionable at best.
What we do know, is that overwhelming participation by NRA members does make a difference. Look no further than last January's gun range bill. After thousands of messages from gun owners, lawmakers opted to shelve the issue for the year. It is going to take that sort of Herculean effort to withstand this barrage. New Jersey gun owners are used to fighting, and this year is going to require a renewed sense of urgency.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as this legislation is scheduled at the Statehouse, and also provide you with ways that you can take action and make your voice heard.