New Jersey legislators disagree over proposal to sell ‘smart guns’

 Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has introduced legislation requiring firearms retailers in New Jersey to offer smart guns for sale within three years after reliable models are available. (AP file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has introduced legislation requiring firearms retailers in New Jersey to offer smart guns for sale within three years after reliable models are available. (AP file photo)

By a vote of 22-to-10 the New Jersey Senate has approved legislation that would require gun dealers in the state to offer smart guns for sale within three years after they become available in the U.S.

The smart gun technology would let guns only be fired by an authorized user.

Senator Mike Doherty says the government should not force firearms dealers to sell smart guns.

“Perhaps one of the sponsor’s intent is to force somebody to manufacture these very expensive guns even though the free market is not calling for them,” he said. 

Senator Dick Codey disagrees.

“It’s not up to the market. It’s up to the people who are dying every day on our streets to have the right not to be killed by a gun that was somehow gotten by a criminal to use in criminal activity and it’s not their gun.”

Senator Gerald Cardinale voted against the bill because he’s worried the technology would be approved for political reasons even if it’s not reliable.

“If indeed it does not become available until it is reliable and it proves reliable, you don’t need to say to retailers you must carry. Retailers want to carry something that is saleable.”

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg is one of the sponsors of the legislation. She says the technology would improve safety if you have a firearm in your home.

“Your children or anybody else in the household if they find by accident or get access to it, won’t be able to fire it. If your gun is stolen, the thief won’t be able to fire it.”

The measure is awaiting action in the Assembly.

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