Stender, Fuentes Bill to Prohibit Issuing Gun Licenses/Permits to Persons Listed on FBI Terrorist Watchlist Gains Final Legislative Approval

(Trenton) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Linda Stender and Angel Fuentes to deny any person on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist a firearms identification card or permit received today final legislative approval (35-0) in an afternoon Senate voting session. This measure is one of numerous bills in a sweeping Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention bill package.

The bill (A-3687) would disqualify a person named on the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Center from being issued either a firearm’s identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun. It would be effective immediately upon enactment.

“Terrorists are on the Watchlist because their intentions to harm people and property are well known,” said Stender (D-Middlesex, Somerset and Union.) “It’s reasonable protection that terrorists are denied access to NJ gun permits and licenses.

“It’s simple common sense.”

The sponsors note in the bill that current law does provide that the issuance of a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun may be denied to any person if it “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” However, the sponsors said the intention of this legislation to provide a separate statutory provision for a person on the Terrorist Watchlist given the seriousness and mass-threatening nature of their criminal activity.

“The individuals on this list are wanted for plotting, attempting or carrying through life-changing criminal acts against humanity,” said Fuentes (D-Camden, Gloucester). “The state would be made aware that any person on this Watchlist would be immediately denied.

“By specifically establishing this provision, we are ensuring the people of this state greater protection down the line.”

The Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention package was proposed in response to the national call for impactful legislative action that will help curb the long-standing issue of gun violence occurring in New Jersey’s communities.

The bill passed the Assembly in February 63-3-10.