TRENTON — Legislation aimed at establishing new rules and limits for carrying concealed handguns in New Jersey cleared a major hurdle Monday when the convention passed it after more than an hour and a half of tense debate.
Scroll down to see the list of how they voted.
The bill underwent extensive revision and rewriting to be approved by committees four times in the last month and eventually received the support needed to pass by a vote of 43 to 29, with one abstention.
His next stop is the Senate Budget Committee, which is next scheduled to meet on December 5. There is one remaining voting session on the Senate calendar this year, on December 22nd.
The state enacted several packages of additional gun control measures during Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, but the current bill was passed by Democrats in response to the Supreme Court’s June decision in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, who indirectly struck down New Jersey’s system of restricting who can be licensed to carry a gun outside of their home.
“Because of Bruen, more New Jerseyers will die from gun violence,” said Rep. Joe Danielsen, D-Somerset. “The question we face now is: how many will die?”
The bill will require more extensive background checks, require people to complete training and get liability insurance, increase the cost of permits and ban permit holders from carrying guns in many areas considered sensitive.
Republicans insisted that the bill be found unconstitutional under the guidelines of the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling, which eventually led Danielsen to state that he was “100,000% satisfied that this bill is constitutionally defensible.”
But Republican after Republican stood up to criticize the law and Democrats for pushing it.
“The real goal for many of you, quite frankly, is to take away your guns,” said R-Sussex MP Hal Wirths. “They say pro-Second Amendment. You don’t pass such legislation if you support the Second Amendment. This is really about need or hatred of firearms.”
“New Jersey already has some of the toughest and most repressive gun laws in the nation. Creating more will only offend the millions of law-abiding citizens who either own firearms or intend to buy them in the future,” said MP Gerry Scharfenberger, R-Monmouth. “You already have to deal with a maze of regulations. Piling on more only hurts honest New Jerseyers.”
“The restrictions are unreasonable. It’s almost like it’s designed to confuse people, trip them up into becoming criminals if they step just a little bit out of line,” said John DiMaio, R-Warren, minority leader of the Assembly. “There is very little clarity here.”
“Honestly, this law is nothing more than a legislative insurrection against our Constitution and the people of the United States, and it poses a threat to our democracy as we attempt to deprive people of their constitutional rights — their liberties,” he said MP Erik Peterson. R-Hunterdon.
After allowing Republicans to do much of the discussion, some Democrats supported the bill — and to criticize Rep. Brian Bergen, R-Morris, who said Danielsen lied to the assembly and “the madness criticizes the stupidity of the legislation.
“It’s not disingenuous,” said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden. “It is not unconstitutional to find out what effect this should have and what the regulations should be. We have the right to try to protect public safety while walking the line to protect the Second Amendment.”
AS YOU CHOOSE
(Democrats in Blue, Republican in Red)
YES SIR: Atkins, Benson, Calabrese, Caputo, Carter, Chaparro, Conaway, Coughlin, Danielsen, DeAngelo, Egan, Freiman, Giblin, Greenwald, Haider, Jeffer, Jasey, Karibinchak, Kennedy, Lampitt, Lopez, McKeon, McKnight, Moen, Moriarty, Mosquera, Mukherji, Murphy, Park, Pintor Marin, Quijano, Reynolds-Jackson, Sampson, Schaer, Spearman, Speight, Stanley, Sumter, Swain, Tucker, Tully, Verrelli, Wimberly
NO: Auth, Barranco, Bergen, Catalano, Clifton, DePhillips, DiMaio, Dunn, Flynn, Gove, Guardian, Kean, Matsikoudis, McCarthy Patrick, McClellan, McGuckin, Peterson, Hull, Sauickie, Sawyer, Scharfenberger, Simonsen, Space, Swift, Thomson , Torrissi, Umba, Webber, Wirths
ESTATE, NOT VOTE: owlner
ABSENT, NO VOTE: DeFuccio, Jiminez, Munoz, Piperno, Rooney, wood lake
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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