(TRENTON) — Legislation Assembly Democrats Mila M. Jasey, John McKeon, Joseph Cryan and Gordon M. Johnson sponsored to ensure New Jersey taxpayer money isn’t going to companies that manufacture, import or sell assault firearms for civilian use was OK’d Wednesday by an Assembly panel as part of the Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention efforts.
The bill (A-3668) prohibits New Jersey from investing any pension or annuity fund under the management of the Department of the Treasury in companies that manufacture, import or sell assault firearms for civilian use.
New Jersey has passed similar laws in regards to companies that invested in South Africa during apartheid and, more recently, Iran.
“New Jersey has taken strong stands against governments that violate basic human rights, and now it’s time to do the same against companies that put assault firearms onto our streets, putting us all at risk,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “We can’t stop the manufacture or sale of these assault weapons across the nation, but we can make it more difficult for these companies to do so.”
“New Jersey residents have long supported our state’s assault weapons ban, so let’s take the logical next step and ensure their money is not going toward the manufacture and sale of these weapons that have no business being on our streets,” said McKeon (D-Essex/Morris). “New Jersey, quite simply, has no reason to support the manufacture and sale of assault weapons.”
“We may not be able to stop the manufacture, import or sale of assault firearms for civilian use, but we can certainly try to choke off some of the money that goes toward them,” said Cryan (D-Union). “New Jersey has long been a leader in the fight against assault weapons, and this is another step in that direction and the right thing to do.”
“New Jersey has no business supporting the manufacture, sale or import of assault weapons for civilians,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “These weapons do not belong on our streets, have been used for horrific crimes and are undeserving of our investment.”
The bill exempts from the ban investments in companies that manufacture, import or sell assault firearms for the exclusive use by nations’ official military organizations and law enforcement agencies.
As for existing investments that are held in violation of the prohibition, the Division of Investment has up to three years to divest from the prohibited companies.
The bill was released by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.