The New Jersey Assembly Democrats are committed to keeping our communities safe. Too many times, we have watched helplessly as mass tragedies played out on the news and mourned with families as they experienced devastating losses due to senseless, indiscriminate gun violence. Yet we have not sat idly by in the aftermath. Instead, we have taken swift action to better protect the 9.3 million people who live in New Jersey, ensuring their right to life is not compromised.
The data paints a stark picture: Approximately 120 Americans die every single day because of gun violence, and in 2022, 48,117 people were killed by guns. Despite having the third-lowest rate of gun deaths in the United States, we are not immune in New Jersey. In an average year, 427 people die by guns in our state. For the New Jersey Assembly Democrats, that number is too high.
Over the past few years, the Assembly Democratic Caucus has taken decisive action to advance commonsense gun safety policies to combat violence. Laws now exist to mandate background checks for private firearms sales, confiscate firearms from those who pose a threat to themselves or others, and require training to obtain a firearm purchaser identification card, along with many other measures designed to keep lethal weapons off our streets and out of the hands of those poised to do the most harm.
In June of 2022, the United States Supreme Court struck down New York’s century-old concealed carry licensing law in its New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision. Prior to this, states had broad discretion to regulate concealed carry permits.
All New Jerseyans deserve to live free from fear of gun violence. The Assembly Democrats have striven to balance critical safety concerns with the constitutional rights of our residents.
In response to the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, we introduced legislation that is now law to prevent guns from ending up in the wrong hands at the wrong places. The law will keep New Jersey families and communities safe by requiring more comprehensive background checks before a concealed carry permit is issued; prohibiting permit holders from carrying handguns in sensitive public areas such as government buildings, sporting arenas, schools, and daycare centers; and establishing insurance and training requirements to protect permit holders as well as the public.
This is a commonsense approach to safeguarding New Jersey communities, which is why it earned support from law enforcement organizations such as the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), the State Troopers Fraternal Association (STFA), the New Jersey State Police Former Troopers Association, and the New Jersey State Troopers Non-Commissioned Officers Association.
The State continues to face challenges in court from powerful gun lobbyists seeking to loosen our gun safety laws, enabling people to bring dangerous weapons into our schools, daycares, and other highly vulnerable locations.
The New Jersey Assembly Democrats are proud that our state has some of the strictest gun safety laws in the nation. Our caucus will always stand up for victims of gun violence and work to prevent future tragedies. Together, the measures we have enacted protect our residents by preventing bad actors from obtaining weapons and keeping guns out of vulnerable areas where they can do significant damage.
Bills Signed into Law
A1061 Requires certain public venues and places of worship to submit emergency plans to law enforcement agencies for purpose of preparing for mass casualty and active shooter events.
A1179 Requires firearm owners who become New Jersey residents to obtain firearm purchaser identification card and register handguns acquired out-of-State.
A1302 Regulates sale of handgun ammunition and develops system of electronic reporting of handgun ammunition sales.
A1765 Allows Attorney General to bring cause of action for certain public nuisance violations arising from sale or marketing of firearms.
A4366 Revises definition of destructive device to include certain .50 caliber rifles; makes certain exceptions.
A4367 Upgrades certain crimes related to manufacturing firearms from third degree to second degree.
A4368 Requires firearm retailers to sell microstamping-enabled firearms upon determination of availability by AG.
A4370 Requires training prior to issuance of firearms purchaser identification card and permit to purchase handgun under certain circumstances; provides that firearms purchaser identification card is valid for ten years.
A4769 Makes various revisions to requirements for obtaining a firearm purchaser identification card, permit to purchase a handgun, and permit to carry a handgun; codifies sensitive places in which firearms and destructive devices are prohibited.