(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) to make the public better aware that certain firearms records are available to them under the state’s open public records law clears final legislative hurdle on Thursday. The bill was approved by the full Assembly 44-31-0.
“Providing the public with information is always a good thing. There are many opinions concerning gun violence and ways to prevent it. This bill allows residents to access valuable information about the total number of gun permits and firearms identification cards in the state without jeopardizing anyone’s privacy. The better informed the public is, the better able they will be to make their own determinations about this and other divisive issues that affect us all,” said Johnson.
The bill (S-2720A-4181) clarifies that the public has access to aggregate information concerning the total number of firearms purchaser identification cards or handgun purchase permits, without any personal identifying information, that have been issued by the Superintendent of State Police or the chief of police of a municipality. Currently, personal firearms records are confidential pursuant to administrative regulations of the state Department of Law and Public Safety.
“Regardless of where you stand on the debate over gun violence, it is essential that people have access to information that can help them form informed decisions,” said Johnson. “Ignorance is not always bliss, especially when dealing with issues that impact us deeply as a state and country.”
The measure now heads to the Governor for further consideration.