In an effort to keep the sale of guns away from community centers and locations servicing vulnerable residents, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle has introduced legislation to prohibit retail dealers of firearms from being located near certain businesses and facilities.
Under the legislation (A-6059), the location of a firearms retail dealer would not be permitted within 1,000 feet of over a dozen different kinds of properties associated with religion, children’s services, education, alcoholic beverages, and more. Dealers could not be located in close proximity to the following sites:
- An elementary or secondary school;
- a child care center;
- a child care facility that provides services to children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities;
- a preschool or nursery school;
- a public or independent institution of higher education, or a proprietary school;
- a licensed health care facility;
- a funeral home;
- another retail dealer of firearms;
- a church, synagogue, temple, or other place of public worship – including buildings used for religious school;
- an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off the premises;
- a playground or a public park.
The Assemblywoman introduced the legislation upon learning that a firearms retailer had opened a store in close proximity to a school in Tenafly Borough – one of the municipalities in her district.
“When I learned a new gun shop had opened within just a couple blocks of a local elementary school, I was quite alarmed,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Having a firearms retailer so close to a place where our children go to learn and socialize throughout most of the week is absolutely unacceptable and poses a major threat to both students and the surrounding community. This legislation will implement important reforms so that gun shops will no longer be allowed anywhere near schools or other facilities where residents frequently congregate.”
“It is imperative that weapons of violence never be sold near schools, places of worship, or other community centers,” said Tenafly Council President Lauren Dayton in support of the bill. “The devastating rise in gun violence throughout our country shows just how critical this matter is, especially when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable residents – like the children in our local elementary school. I am thankful for Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle’s decisive action in proposing this commonsense legislation to protect the safety and welfare of our communities.”
The bill has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee for consideration.