NJ Lawmakers Want Even Tougher Gun Laws

They've advanced bills meant to keep the state’s firearm laws among the strictest in the country.

Photo by Artfully79/iStock.

Just days after hundreds of thousands of students and supporters marched in protest of gun violence nationwide, the Democrat-led General Assembly of New Jersey passed six new bills on Monday that sponsors say will help keep the state’s gun laws among the strictest in the country.

“New Jersey’s gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation and we must keep them that way,” said Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald.

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, only California is tougher on guns than New Jersey, which gets an A-minus on the organization’s annual scorecard of firearm laws. (Pennsylvania gets a C).

The bills include a proposal to reduce the number of bullets allowed in a magazine from 15 to 10, a full ban on armor-piercing ammunition, the expansion of background checks, and a stricter requirement on residents to prove a “justifiable need” for a gun permit.

“The people of New Jersey have demanded we act, and we must,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

One particularly controversial measure is a bill that would make it easier for law enforcement to seize weapons from people deemed by healthcare professionals to be a threat to themselves or others. Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll called the idea “punitive” in nature.

A contingent of Second Amendment enthusiasts – many wearing NRA apparel – descended upon Trenton to voice their opposition at the state capitol.

“We have to fight for our rights, plain and simple,” Rocky McGuigan, a 54-year-old Mount Laurel resident, told 6ABC. “Our forefathers did. We have to still do it today unfortunately.”

Murphy says he supports the legislation, which now will go before New Jersey’s Senate. According to Senate President Steve Sweeney, the bills will all be approved.