Judges, lawmakers would be able to carry guns under N.J. proposal

New Jersey Sen. Gerry Cardinale's bill would exempt lawmakers and judges from the justifiable need requirement of a specific threat or previous attack to get a carry permit. (AP file photo)

New Jersey Sen. Gerry Cardinale's bill would exempt lawmakers and judges from the justifiable need requirement of a specific threat or previous attack to get a carry permit. (AP file photo)

A New Jersey lawmaker is introducing legislation that would allow judges and legislators to obtain a permit to carry handguns.

Because current laws are so restrictive, said Sen. Gerry Cardinale,  it’s virtually impossible for a legislator to get a handgun carry permit in New Jersey.

“Do we really need to wait for some nut who is really offended at a vote that we have taken to actually attack a legislator who is unarmed?” he said Monday.

Cardinale, R-Bergen, said judges should also be able to have handguns because they have undergone thorough background checks and deserve to feel safe no matter how they ruled on court cases.

“You may agree or disagree with their rulings or their political opinions or other things like that, but you know these people are not going to misuse a handgun if they have a handgun, and sometimes these people are also targets,” he said.

Cardinale’s bill would exempt lawmakers and judges from the justifiable need requirement of a specific threat or previous attack to get a carry permit.

They would only have to show they completed at least eight hours of firearms training.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.