On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. Gun owners and anti-gun activists packed an oversized committee room in the Statehouse annex. NRA-ILA and our state association, ANJRPC, testified against these bills and pointed out that the Legislature is once again improperly focusing on a political agenda against law-abiding gun owners rather than getting serious about school safety. Again, there was not a single bill on the agenda that would have improved or enhanced school safety in any significant way.
The bills on the agenda included:
- S.102 by Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) is a magazine and gun ban. This legislation would ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10. We all know magazine bans do nothing except punish law-abiding gun owners because criminals by definition ignore laws. This bill would put honest citizens in jeopardy during violent criminal attacks and would subject them to prosecution for possessing what is currently legal property. This bill would turn the majority of New Jersey’s 1 million gun owners into felons overnight. The committee indicated that there would be amendments on this bill addressing grandfathering, but the language has not been made available. Please follow NRA-ILA alerts for further updates.
- S.2259 by Sen. Richard Codey (D) creates extreme risk protection orders whereby firearms can be seized and constitutional rights suspended with little to no due process. The bill fails to penalize those who fabricate accusations, and it does nothing to improve public safety.
- S.160 by Sen. Vin Gopal (D) would allow for suspension of gun rights by unaccountable “health professionals.” This bill goes so far as to allow marriage counselors, social workers and nurses to cause suspension of your legal rights.
- S.2376 by Sen. Linda Greenstein (D) codifies New Jersey’s “justifiable need” standard for the issuance of concealed carry permits. The bill is a striking blow to the basic fundamental right to self-defense outside the home. It creates a standard so onerous that nobody can meet it, hence the issuance of permits in New Jersey is close to non-existent.
- S.2245 by Sen. Fred Madden, Jr. (D) bans handgun ammunition which is already banned under federal law. This bill does nothing to improve public safety and is a classic example of the asinine nature of New Jersey gun laws as a whole. This is nothing more than political pandering to anti-gun groups.
- S.2374 by Sen. Linda Greenstein (D) would require background checks on all firearm transfers. Again, this is redundant because all transactions in New Jersey require a background check. The private transfer of long guns requires an FID card and the issuance of that card requires fingerprinting, a background check and references, among other things. This bill does nothing except add another layer of bureaucracy and fees to an already cumbersome and duplicative process.
Because amendments were discussed on these bills (although text was not made available at the time of the hearing) some of these bills will have to return to the Assembly and/or be double referenced to other committees. No floor action has been scheduled in the Senate, but we will continue to report as details are made available. Please begin contacting your state Senator and respectfully request that they oppose these bills.