TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Monday, New Jersey lawmakers gave final approval to a bill that changes the rules for getting a gun carry permit after a U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer expanded gun rights.
The bill was passed by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, during what is expected to be the last voting session of the year. It is now on its way to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Tyler Jones, a spokesman for Governor Murphy, said in an email that the bill would be signed “quickly” by the governor.
Jones said, “From the first day he took office, Governor Murphy has made it clear that he wants stronger gun safety laws in the state of New Jersey.”
Republicans opposed the measure, which brought up questions about its legality, and people who support gun rights said it wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.
During a debate on the floor of the chamber, Republican state Sen. Ed Durr said, “The 2nd Amendment can’t be ignored just because New Jersey’s majority party doesn’t like it.
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” On Monday, no Democrats spoke in favor of the measure, but they had said before that they thought it was legal.
The bill gets rid of New Jersey’s requirement that people who want to carry a gun have a “justifiable need” and are of “good character.” This is in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in June.
Other changes to the law make it impossible for people who have been locked up because of their mental health, who have had restraining orders, or who are “fugitives from justice” to vote.
The measure calls for the end of a paper permit system that required applicants to fill out four copies of the same form. It would also set up a website where people could buy guns online.
It makes the number of recommendations from people who aren’t in your family go from three to four. Law enforcement officials would also have to talk to them.
The bill also makes training more difficult by requiring online, in-person, and target-shooting classes. And permit carriers would have to have liability insurance.
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It makes it illegal to carry in a lot of public places, like state buildings, schools, polling places, daycares, public parks and beaches, concert halls, and bars.
In New Jersey, you need a permit to both to buy and carry a gun. Under the measure, the price of a permit to buy a handgun would go from $2 to $25. For other guns, the fee is between $5 and $50.
The bill says that a carrier’s permit will cost $200. On the current forms, there is a $50 fee. With the extra money from the higher fee, local governments could keep $150 to pay for processing costs. The rest would go to the state’s office of crime victim’s compensation.
The head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Scott Bach, said Monday that the bill would “go down in flames” and give the Supreme Court a “big middle finger.”