New Jersey’s state Senate narrowly passed a new concealed carry gun control legislation Monday, with one Democratic lawmaker joining Republicans in saying it is unconstitutional, according to NJ.com.
The bill would require gun owners who seek a concealed carry permit to purchase liability insurance and take training courses, while also increasing permit fees and restricting guns in “sensitive places” like schools, public parks, courthouses, bars and private property, according to the legislation. The bill received bipartisan criticism, with Republican state Sen. Michael Testa calling the bill “absolutely wrong” and Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Sacco saying it is unconstitutional and will face legal challenges, according to NJ.com.
The bill follows a June Supreme Court ruling, known as the Bruen decision, which found that requiring New York residents to demonstrate “special need” to carry a firearm is unconstitutional, according to NJ.com. The new bill is a response to Bruen, as Democratic leaders felt they needed to overhaul the concealed carry law in the state.
“We must do everything we can to make sure New Jersey families remain safe and protected while enjoying all New Jersey has to offer,” Democratic state Sen. Linda Greenstein, a main sponsor of the bill, told NJ.com.
“I felt an obligation to the state of New Jersey and our constituents to get this done in a timely fashion, before the holiday break to get a framework in place for legalized gun permit holders,” Democratic state Senate President Nicholas Scutari, another main sponsor, told NJ.com. “I think it’s a well thought-out piece of legislation.”
Republican Sen. Edward Durr criticized the bill, telling NJ.com “The Second Amendment can’t be ignored because New Jersey’s majority party doesn’t like it. This bill creates a complicated and expensive process to get the carry permit, then denies the permit holders the ability to even use the permit they just worked so hard to get.”
The state Senate voted along party lines, 21-16, to approve the legislation, which received the minimum number of votes required to clear the house, according to NJ.com. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy intends to “swiftly” sign the bill into law.
The measure comes after the U.S. has “bore witness to a number of horrendous and tragic mass killings at the hands of gun violence,” Tyler Jones, a spokeswoman for Murphy, said in a statement Monday. “Children sitting in a classroom. Men and women shopping at their local grocery store. Members of our LGBTQIA+ community enjoying a night out with friends,” Jones said.
Murphy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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