The New Jersey Assembly has approved a 22-bill package of gun-control measures.
The measures reduce the maximum capacity of gun magazines, ban online sales of weapons and ammo, and allow police to seize weapons from people when mental health professionals determine they pose a threat. They also allow towns to establish weapons-free zones around schools.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, D-Essex, says the bills are sensible initiatives.
“We have some of the best gun laws in the country,” Oliver said. “We also know we’ve got some things we can tighten up. We are not doing anything that’s radical. These are all things to safeguard people.”
Republican Conference leader Dave Rible says the legislation won’t solve the gun violence problem.
“We’re not seeing any legislation today that’s going after the violent criminal,” he said. “We’re seeing legislation today that’s going after the law-abiding citizen.”
And Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick dismisses the legislation as nothing more than politics.
“This is all part of a political agenda during an election year to try to make somebody look anti gun,” Bramnick, R-Union, said. “This is simply a way for the Democrats to find a wedge issue in a year where they can’t find a wedge issue.”
Republicans say the bills were being rushed through, and it would have been better to wait for the governor’s task force to issue its recommendations on dealing with the broader violence issues.
To become law, the bills still must be passed by the full state Senate and signed by Gov. Chris Christie.