New Jersey Democrats unveiled a package of legislation designed to strengthen the state’s already tight gun laws. The move is a reaction to this summer’s Supreme Court ruling against New York’s law that restricted concealed carrying of guns.
“We want New Jersey to be known as the home of the toughest gun laws in the country,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. “Today’s legislation was carefully crafted to withstand strict judicial scrutiny. It is our goal to make New Jersey the safest state in the nation.”
The bill would require more comprehensive background checks before a gun permit is issued, and bans weapons from being carried in government buildings, sports arenas, and bars.
Among other provisions, the legislation would create a vetting process for those who apply for a concealed carry permit, increasing the number of non-family references required to vouch for the applicant’s character and temperament.
It would also require those with concealed-carry permits to take gun safety training, including a gun range qualification. Handgun owners would also be required to carry insurance to “ensure victims of an accidental discharge are appropriately compensated and protected.”
“This historic legislation will prevent guns from ending up in the hands of the wrong people,” said state Sen. Linda Greenstein. “We continue to affirm our commitment to responsible gun ownership that protects public safety and prevents violence.”
The legislation is modeled on a similar effort approved in New York which is currently being challenged in court. New Jersey lawmakers expect a similar challenge if this measure is approved.