A flurry of gun control activity is slated for early next week in Trenton. The Assembly will vote on a package of anti-gun bills on Monday, March 26. These bills were adopted in the Assembly Judiciary Committee back on Feb. 28. In addition to the Monday Assembly voting session, NRA and ANJRPC will be hosting a morning rally on the steps of the War Memorial, only a couple blocks from the Statehouse.
Despite having some of the harshest gun laws in the country, new Gov. Phil Murphy has made gun control a top priority. Your NRA testified last month against the bills on Monday's Assembly agenda, and now the full Assembly is pushing them forward despite overwhelming opposition last month. Three of these bills were amended in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday, March 22, but they still are very much objectionable. Trenton's appetite for gun control is insatiable, and it's important that NRA members continue contacting their Assembly members, respectfully insisting a "no" vote on the following bills:
A.2761 by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D) would restrict magazine capacity to no more than 10 rounds. This bill will do nothing to enhance public safety as criminals do not follow the law. On the other hand, it will put law-abiding gun owners in jeopardy from both a legal and a personal safety standpoint. The bill turns legally owned property into contraband overnight and turns thousands of people into felons with the stroke of a pen.
A.1217 by Assemblyman John McKeon (D) is an "extreme risk protection order" bill. This bill lacks serious due process protections. New Jersey already has some of the strongest gun forfeiture laws in the country, and anything this bill portends to cover can already be done under either current law or police community caretaking powers. The bottom line is that this is simply another way to suspend and/or revoke someone's constitutional rights with a low legal standard and make it incredibly difficult to have those rights restored.
A.1181 by Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D) is a dangerous bill in that it allows unaccountable "health professionals" to revoke a person's constitutional rights. Under this bill, marriage counselors, social workers, nurses, and others could easily have someone's gun rights suspended and private property seized with zero compensation. This bill may have serious, unintended consequences as it will undoubtedly have a chilling effect on those who may consider seeking treatment.
A.2758 by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D) codifies the state's unconstitutional "justifiable need" standard for the issuance of concealed carry permits. New Jersey is an extreme outlier on this issue as the state issues virtually no carry permits, completely ignoring a person's fundamental right to self-defense outside the home.
A.2757 by Majority Leader Greenwald would require background checks on all private firearm transfers. This bill is particularly pointless in New Jersey because you need to have a purchase permit for handguns and an FID card for long gun transfers, both of which require a background check. The FID card process is quite extensive and includes fingerprinting, references and HIPAA releases in addition to a NICS check.
Again, it's imperative that you contact your Assembly members immediately and insist that they vote "no" on these anti-gun measures. These bills do nothing to enhance public safety and simply add to the onerous and punitive gun laws which law-abiding gun owners are subjected to in New Jersey. Finally, it's important that NRA members stand up and make a strong statement. Please join us Monday in Trenton on Monday for the rally!