Christie faces fight over change in gun permit regulation

 New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto says Gov. Chris Christie's change in gun regulation is not consistent with legislative intent. (AP file photo)

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto says Gov. Chris Christie's change in gun regulation is not consistent with legislative intent. (AP file photo)

Governor Chris Christie’s decision to change the rules on applying for a handgun carry permit in New Jersey is getting a mixed reaction.

Christie’s new regulation allows the police officials who approve carry permits to consider evidence of serious threats not directed specifically against an individual.

It’s a good move, said Scott Bach executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs.

“For far too long, the state of New Jersey has actively denied the right of people to defend themselves outside their home with a firearm, and this is a small incremental step in the right direction,” Bach said Tuesday.

Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature say they’ll fight Christie’s decision.

The regulation is not consistent with legislative intent, said Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto.

“In the state of New Jersey, we have pretty strict gun laws,” he said. “I don’t think there’s the want to loosen those laws and potentially have somebody carrying concealed weapons that shouldn’t be.”

The Legislature approved a resolution last year to block the regulation, but Christie administration officials said that wasn’t transmitted to the executive branch.

Prieto and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said lawmakers are now considering legal action.

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