Unfortunately, this is a bit of a dog bites man story for a state like New Jersey. The bigger question is what Christie does, because if he signs this stuff, he can kiss his presidential ambitions goodbye. From ANJRPC:
Today (May 30), the New Jersey State Senate passed its remaining package of 10 gun bills in a largely partisan vote, following procedural delays and additional committee hearings since the last Senate voting session on May 13. Many of the bills in the entire legislative package passed by the Senate this month will now move back to the Assembly for concurrence with changes made in the Senate, and whatever passes the Assembly will then move to the Governor’s office.
There may be new Assembly committee hearings on some of the bills passed by the Senate before the full Assembly votes on the entire bill package in June. We do not anticipate that the Governor will take action before July on any of the bills that reach his desk.
Absent from today’s Senate agenda were simple, easy fixes to longstanding issues that have plagued law-abiding gun owners, which ANJRPC has been pressing for months. These include an “Aitken’s Law” concept (to prevent law-abiding gun owners from being turned into criminals for hypertechnical transportation violations); enforcement of the 30-day permit issuance deadline already required by law but ignored by permitting authorities; and extension of handgun permits to one year. We will continue to press for these fixes to be added to the legislative package of gun bills.
Here are the bills that passed the Senate today:
S2723 (Throws out existing FID cards & replaces with driver license endorsement or other form of ID; suspends Second Amendment rights without proof of firearms training, including for all current handgun owners; imposes 7-day waiting period for handgun purchases; ends all private sales; effectively creates a registry of ammunition purchases and long gun sales; additional impacts.)
S2178 (Bans fifty caliber and similar firearms. The current version was amended to make the bill effective immediately – specifically to prevent law-abiding citizens with pending orders for these firearms from taking possession of them. Grandfathering of those who already own these firearms has been added – but the guns must be registered, and owners could have civil liability if the firearm is used in a crime. This bill impacts firearms with a muzzle energy of 12,000 ft-pounds, even if under .50 caliber, and possibly other firearms. Gun bans like this are based on the false, unsupportable idea that society will be safer if one particular tool is removed, which fails to recognize that someone intent on doing evil wi ll not be stopped or deterred merely because one particular tool is not available.)
S2485 (Suspends Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens based on a secret government list – no due process. Ignores the presumption of innocence to which all U.S. citizens are entitled. Can be abused by government officials to ban guns to demonized classes of law abiding citizens, including military veterans and gun owners.)
A3717 (Submits mental health records to NICS – no stated requirement of due process, despite repeated requests since February.)
S2467 / S2471 (Prohibits investment of state pension funds in companies tied to manufacturers, importers, or sellers of so-called “assault” firearms for civilian use.).
S2804 (Makes possession of firearms a first degree crime for those previously convicted of serious crimes or engaged in commission of a serious crime. This bill targets violent criminals in possession of guns. During committee testimony, ANJRPC urged legislators to add a corollary “Aitken’s Law” provision to protect law-abiding gun owners from severe unintended consequences of NJ gun law generally, but they declined to do so).
S1133 (Significantly enhances bail requirements for certain gun crimes. As originally written, carried potential for extreme unintended consequences against law-abiding gun owners. Committee amendments were added in response to ANJRPC testimony to preclude this possibility – enhanced bail requirements now only apply to those engaged in, or previously convicted of, serious crimes.)
S1279 (Increases the penalty for unlawful transfer of a firearm to a minor from third to second degree. As originally written, carried potential for extreme unintended consequences against law-abiding gun owners. Committee amendments were added in response to ANJRPC testimony to ensure that temporary transfers to minors for instruction and training were exempted. Existing law would already exempt temporary transfers for target practice and competition.)
S2801 (Increases the statute of limitations for prosecution of theft of a firearm from 5 to 10 years).
S2552 (Would protect private identity information of individual gun owners from public disclosure.)
ANJRPC will be issuing additional alerts as information is available.