Six gun safety bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats were signed into law Thursday. Among them, legislation aiming to keep guns away from those who pose threats, reducing ammunition magazine capacity, enhancing background checks, banning armor-piercing ammunition and countering efforts to weaken gun safety regulations.
A brief overview of each measure:
· A-1181 (Jones/Mosquera/Sumter/Downey/Barclay) – Requires firearms seizure when certain health care professional determines patient poses threat of harm to self or others.
“For someone who may be struggling with disturbing thoughts, having access to a firearm significantly increases the likelihood of suicide,” said Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D-Camden/Gloucester). “By reducing their access to a lethal weapon, New Jersey can help prevent fatalities among those with serious mental health concerns.”
· A-1217 (McKeon/Greenwald/Jasey/Eustace/Zwicker/Murphy/Moriarty) – Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018.
“We’ve seen too many ‘what ifs’ when it comes to these mass shootings, often centered around the question of why didn’t somebody do something to take guns away from someone who is mentally unstable,” said Assemblyman McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “This new law makes it easier to accomplish that goal and, ultimately, protect our communities and our children. The status quo doesn’t work. We need to take new approaches that allow authorities a real chance to keep guns away from mentally unstable individuals who pose a threat to us all.”
· A-2761 (Greenwald/Quijano/Johnson/Holley/Moriarty) – Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; exempts firearms with .22 caliber tubular magazines from 10 round limitation.
“Meeting the families of Sandy Hook was one of the most moving experiences of my 22 years of public service,” said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “For these families, the single most important law we could have fought for is lowering magazine capacity. I refused to let these families down, to look them in the eyes and tell them we are powerless – that their loved ones were a tragic but necessary, loss. No loss to gun violence is ever necessary.”
· A-2757 (Greenwald/Holley/Moriarty) – Requires background check for private gun sales.
“Requiring a licensee to complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check on the recipient of the handgun, rifle or shotgun is just plain common sense,” Greenwald said. “It’s shocking that we don’t do this already, but with this new law we fix this gaping loophole.”
· A-2758 (Greenwald/Holley/Moriarty) – Codifies regulations defining justifiable need to carry handgun.
“New Jersey’s gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation and we must keep them that way,’ Greenwald said. “Overturning these unsafe regulations has been a top priority of mine. While I commend Gov. Murphy for doing the right thing to keep our streets safe and ensure laws are enforced as intended, we need to make sure that no future governor can attempt to carelessly weaken our gun safety rules.”
· A-2759 (Greenwald/Murphy/Quijano/Holley/Moriarty) – Prohibits possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor.
“As technology advances, so does the threat to our police officers who must brave criminals armed with powerful weapons,” Greenwald said. “Criminalizing the use of this type of ammunition is common sense. Our officers risk their lives daily. Today, we’ve taken a step to better protect them.”