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Common Sense Gun Safety – N.J. Assembly Judiciary Committee Advances 6-Bill Gun Safety Package

(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced 6 gun safety bills.
The bills aim to keep guns away from those who pose threats, reduce ammunition magazine capacity, enhance background checks, ban armor-piercing ammunition and counter efforts to weaken gun safety regulations.
A look at 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 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.”
“The vast majority of people who have a mental illness will never commit an act of violence, but multiple mass shootings, domestic violence homicides and suicides in this country could have been prevented if people known to have serious mental health concerns did not have access to a firearm,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester).
“State law regarding the qualifications for permits and purchaser ID cards makes it clear that the duty to protect public health, safety and welfare is paramount,” said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Individuals who express an explicit intent to harm themselves or someone else demonstrate that it is unsafe for them to handle firearms.”
“Mental health professionals know the signs to look out for and are in the best position to determine whether someone poses an imminent threat to him- or herself or someone else,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “This is an intelligent approach that will protect our communities.”
“It is in everyone’s best interest to cut off access to guns until a medical doctor or a psychiatrist determines it can be reinstated,” said Barclay (D-Camden). “We’ve seen too many tragedies where people say, ‘What if?’ This can help answer that question.”
· A-1217 (McKeon) – 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 McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “This bill 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) – 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 Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “For these families, the single most important piece of legislation we could fight for is lowering magazine capacity. I refuse 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) – 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 bill we fix this gaping loophole.”
“This is an idea everyone should support,” said Holley (D-Union). “We can fix this and both protect the public and the rights of law-abiding citizens who have nothing to fear from a background check.”
· A-2758 (Greenwald) – 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) – 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. Let’s protect them.”
“Police officers today are dealing with criminals who, disturbingly, are just as equipped with advanced weapons that make police work that much more dangerous,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “The risk for our officers is already great. Let’s help minimize the danger by criminalizing this type of ammunition.”