N.J. Assembly pulls trigger on gun laws
TRENTON – The New Jersey General Assembly on Thursday approved 22 gun violence prevention bills focusing on reforming gun and ammunition sales, improving mental health services, enhancing gun safety, combating illegal gun trafficking, boosting school security and preventing gang violence.
“These measures are a blend of temperance and temerity - the temperance necessary to address this issue pragmatically without trampling on Second Amendment rights, and the temerity to tackle this issue once and for all,” said Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “For those who argue that our efforts are an emotional response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I don't entirely disagree. To not be driven by emotion to address the incomprehensible slaying of 20 innocent children would be baffling. This is not, however, a knee-jerk response. The time to get serious about protecting our communities from gun violence is long overdue. The proposals we have approved are common sense.”
“We know of the mass tragedies in Newtown and Aurora, in Tucson and in Blacksburg, but we recognize that gun violence takes the life of a New Jerseyan almost every day, as in 2011, 269 New Jerseyans were killed by guns -- a 9 percent increase from the previous year,” said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “We must take notice when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project that gun deaths are expected to exceed motor vehicle fatalities for the first time by 2015. Whether it is a movie theater in Colorado, a college campus in Virginia or a street corner in New Jersey, enough is enough. That is why the New Jersey General Assembly has approved a comprehensive package of common-sense bills to prevent gun violence.”
Details on each bill are available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillsByNumber.asp.
ASSEMBLY BILLS PASSED:
Prohibits possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor.
Establishes 180 day prohibition on purchase of handgun for certain individuals who fail to report loss or theft of firearm.
Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.
Permits municipalities to establish weapons free zones around schools and public facilities.
Criminalizes purchase or possession of firearms ammunition by persons convicted of certain crimes.
"Christopher's Law;" provides court with option of ordering juveniles adjudicated delinquent to receive interactive instruction in preventing gang involvement and gang and youth violence.
Requires proof of firearms safety training as a condition for issuance of firearms purchaser ID cards and permits to purchase handguns.
Creates task force to explore areas to improve school safety.
A-3645/3646/3666 /3750 Acs
Requires ammunition sales and transfers be conducted as face-to-face transactions.
Revises definition of destructive device to include certain weapons of 50 caliber or greater.
Prohibits investment by State of pension and annuity funds in companies manufacturing, importing, and selling assault firearms for civilian use.
Disqualifies person named on federal Terrorist Watchlist from obtaining firearms identification card or permit to purchase handgun.
Requires submission of certain mental health records to National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Requires background check for private gun sales.
Requires firearms seizure when mental health professional determines patient poses threat of harm to self or others.
Requires that firearms purchaser identification cards display picture; mandates that firearms purchaser identification cards be renewed every five years.
Codifies regulation exempting firearms records from State's open public records law; abolishes common law right of access to these records.
Provides 90-day window for persons to dispose of certain unlawfully possessed firearms.
Requires law enforcement to report certain firearms information to interjurisdictional electronic databases including the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network.
Urges President and Congress of United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures.
Expresses support for Attorney General's gun buyback program.
Urges Governor Christie's Administration not to apply for annual exemption from requirements of federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
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