Home>Gun Control>Concealed carry reform bill pulled from planned vote in Assembly

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Concealed carry reform bill pulled from planned vote in Assembly

Bill passes first Senate committee on party-line vote

By Joey Fox, October 27 2022 4:53 pm

A planned Assembly vote today on a controversial bill amending New Jersey’s concealed carry laws was canceled, though one of its key sponsors said that the delay is only to make sure the bill is as sturdy as it can be.

“We’re revisiting some language to make sure that it’s tailored exactly the way we want,” Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees) said after today’s Assembly voting session.

The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee, meanwhile, heard the bill today and passed it on a party-line vote. After passing three different Assembly committees over the last two weeks, today’s Senate hearing was the first time the bill has come before members of the Senate.

The bill was written in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which struck down many of New Jersey’s concealed carry laws. In order to comply with the decision while still limiting the prevalence of guns in New Jersey, the bill eliminates the state’s justifiable need standard but adds various new requirements for firearm permits and significantly curtails the locations where firearms can be carried.

“Because of the recent rulings from the Supreme Court, the landscape of carrying firearms has changed greatly,” Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-Franklin), the bill’s chief sponsor, said when the bill first came up in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on October 17. “This is a safety bill, not a gun bill. This is a common-sense bill. This is a bill that New Jersey needs, and it needs it quick.”

But Republicans and gun rights organizations have pushed back on the bill strongly, saying that it wouldn’t hold up against a constitutional challenge. Republican legislators have been unanimous so far in opposing the bill in committee, and even moderate Republicans like State Sen. Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) have registered their clear objection.

“The legislature is attempting to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court through legislation that would turn legal gun owners into criminals,” Bramnick said today in a statement. “If this bill becomes law, too many good people will find themselves on the wrong side of the law.”

The universal Republican opposition gives Democrats a narrow margin to work with. But since the bill is moving forward in both chambers – and since every Democrat has voted for it in committee – it in all likelihood has the votes to eventually pass.

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