New Jersey has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country. Only California has stricter laws, according to the Giffords Law Center.
Those laws could become even more stringent next year. A package of gun reform bills recently passed in the New Jersey Assembly and is headed to the Senate.
What’s in the gun reform package?
The eight measures include provisions that would do the following:
- Require guns to be stored in a safe or lockbox
- Require new residents of the state to register their firearms and get a purchaser ID card within 60 days of their move
- Mandate renewal of purchaser ID card and proof of a safety course every four years
- Ban the sale of .50 caliber guns and require those who already own them to register them and pay a fee
- Strengthen requirements for people who inherit firearms
- Prohibit the importing of guns from other states
This last one addresses a serious problem. Some 80% of guns used in the commission of crimes can be traced to other states.
Gov. Murphy has voiced his support
These are just some of the changes that would take effect if the bills (as written) become law. Gov. Phil Murphy has already expressed his support for them. He said recently, “I think the packages we’ve already seen passed, as well as this prospective package, all continue to get at making our state responsibly, sensibly, and reasonably the strongest gun-safety state in America.”
Not surprisingly, gun rights supporters aren’t happy about the measures. The head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs asserted, “Not one of Governor Murphy’s schemes punishes gun crime — instead, every single one interferes with the Constitutional right of honest citizens to defend themselves in an emergency.” He promised to fight the measures, if they become law, in court.
If you own a firearm, it’s important to keep up with changes to the laws. If you are facing gun-related charges, it’s wise to seek legal guidance.