Assembly Speaker Coughlin & Senate President Scutari Respond to Law Enforcement Support of Commonsense Gun Safety Legislation

Legislative leaders issued the following statements today in response to New Jersey law enforcement voicing support of commonsense gun safety legislation advancing in the New Jersey Legislature:

“I thank our law enforcement for supporting legislation that is critical to protecting public safety as well as the police officers responsible for keeping our communities safe.  The Senate President has been an invaluable partner as we engaged law enforcement to drive this commonsense measure forward.  By ensuring that individuals can only obtain a concealed carry permit after extensive review and appropriate training, we are standing up for victims of gun violence and helping prevent future tragedies while abiding by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.” Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex)

“The support of law enforcement underscores the importance of enacting this bill to help maintain public safety. We have worked with the law enforcement community to ensure that they have the tools to help prevent gun violence and combat illegal gun trafficking. This bill is a common-sense safety measure that will support law enforcement.” Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Leading law enforcement representatives issued the following statements on the bill’s release out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee today:

“I would like to thank legislative leadership for agreeing to over 20 amendments at our request over the last several weeks to get this bill to a better place.  Although we would like to have seen a few more changes, this bill respects the training, qualifications and tremendous experience our retirees deserve.  They will remain an important component in keeping the residents and visitors of New Jersey safe and secure.” Patrick Colligan, President of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association

“We recognize the commitment of the legislative leadership to make New Jersey a leader in safe compliance with the recent Supreme Court decision.  We are pleased that this legislation will not comprise the Rights and obligations of active and qualified retired law enforcement officers.  As this bill is implemented, both the STFA and legislative leadership stand committed to making improvements along the way.” Wayne Blanchard, President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association

“The leadership of the FTA would like to thank the legislative leadership for preserving the Rights of qualified retired law enforcement officers.  Our members served honorably and are highly trained and qualified to handle firearms and should not have any restrictions burdening them.” George Wren, President of the Former Troopers Association

“The NJ State Troopers NCO Association is appreciative of the legislative leadership’s willingness to support the importance of maintaining the ability of qualified active and retired law enforcement officials to carry hand guns.  Acknowledging our concerns voiced for the responsibilities of active and retired law enforcement officers is essential for compliance with current case law.  We look forward to working with the state and other law enforcement officials to effectively implement other changes as needed.” Dan Oliveira, President, NCO Association of New Jersey

The historic legislation (A-4769) will prevent guns from ending up in the hands of the wrong people by requiring more comprehensive background checks before a permit is issued; prohibiting permit holders from carrying handguns in sensitive public areas such as government buildings, hospitals, sporting arenas and bars; and creating an insurance requirement to protect permit holders and the public, among other measures.

The bill now awaits further consideration by the full Assembly.