(Trenton) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Linda Stender, Angel Fuentes and Annette Quijano to deny any person on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist a firearms identification card or permit was signed into law today. The new law is one of numerous measures included in a sweeping Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention bill package.
The new statute 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. The law is effective immediately.
“”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 that in recent law it provided the issuance of a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun to be denied for any person if it “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” However, the sponsors said the intention of their legislation was to strengthen New Jersey law and 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.”
“We have seen what these individuals on the Watchlist are and could be capable of,” said Quijano (D-Union). “New Jersey must conduct thorough and highly efficient backgrounds checks on every person that applies for a gun permit or licensure.
“This new law would expand searches to include the persons listed on this Watchlist and also their aliases.”
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. It was approved in the Senate 35-0 on March 30.