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Johnson Bill to Allow Retired State Park Police, NJ Transit Police Officers to Carry Firearms Continues to Advance

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson sponsored to allow more retired law enforcement officers to carry handguns was advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday.

The bill (A-2690) would expand the list of retired law enforcement officers eligible to receive a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey. The measure would expand the list to include: state park police officers, special agents of the Division of Taxation, Human Services police officers, New Jersey Transit police officers, university police officers employed by institutions of higher education, state conservation officers, Palisades Interstate Park officers.

Under current law, certain retired law enforcement officers may annually apply for a permit to carry a handgun, until those officers reach age 75, at which time they are no longer eligible. The permit allows a retired law enforcement officer to carry a handgun at all times.

“Regardless of the law enforcement unit with which they served, retired law enforcement officers who received proper training in the use of firearms and dedicated themselves to protecting their communities should have the right to carry a handgun,” said Johnson (D-Bergen), a former Bergen County sheriff. “This legislation will further the intent of the original law giving retired officers the right to carry by enabling more individuals with professional law enforcement experience to help keep New Jersey safe.”

The legislation was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee last June and cleared the full Assembly, 77-0 in December. It now heads to the Senate President for further consideration.