Attempt to Make NJ Gun Laws Reasonable Under Fire

NJ Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg is leading the push against Gov. Christ Christie's changes.

The executive action by Governor Chris Christie would allow more residents to defend themselves, but some legislators are saying no.

The NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action is supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) attempts to slightly relax the state's intense gun laws, specifically the ability for citizens to acquire a concealed carry permit.

Recently, the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee voted 3-2 along party lines to pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 101, which blocks changes to a recent executive action from Christie that clarified the “justifiable need” standard for concealed carry permits and the reasonable “deviation” language regarding transporting firearms. The resolution could be considered by the full state Senate as soon as Monday, May 9.

The directive also compels local law enforcement to comply with existing state laws and process firearm ID cards and handgun purchase permit applications in the 30 days allotted, according to law. There have been many reports from the Garden State of permits taking up to a year in some police departments.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 101, spearheaded by anti-gun lawmaker Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) would block Christie’s executive action on the incremental improvements to the state’s concealed carry standard.

As we reported previously, Christie's efforts would allow concealed carry permits to be issued to anyone in the state who can prove a "serious threat" against their life. This is not a strict enough standard for Weinberg, who said "…if these regulations were adopted, it would allow every cab driver, pizza deliver driver, Uber driver, and anyone else living or working in a high-crime neighborhood to qualify for a firearm permit."

For decades, Jersey residents have been required to detail a “justifiable need” to local law enforcement in order to be approved for a carry permit, of which very few are granted each year in a state with a population of over 8.9 million people.

The issue of the difficulties faced by some residents when police departments in the state don't process permit applications in a timely fashion, as required by law, was brought to the forefront last year when Carol Bowne, from Berlin Township, was murdered in her driveway by an ex-boyfriend, against whom she had a restraining order, while waiting for the approval of her permit to merely own a gun.