Last spring, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie proposed new guidelines to make it easier to obtain a firearms license in the Garden State. Gov. Christie wanted expand access to handgun carry permits by changing the state’s strict gun-permitting regulation that required a showing of the almost impossible standard of “justifiable need” in order to obtain a carry license. He proposed to add the more practical “serious threat” as a qualifying circumstance.
However, State lawmakers rebuffed Gov. Chris Christie. The Grinches in the Assembly voted last week to pass a resolution (SCR 117) that prohibits the State Police from adopting and implementing the proposed standard, spoiling Christmas for the Governor and the law-abiding citizens of New Jersey. The lawmakers claim they possess the authority to strike down any executive action that defies the legislative intent of any law that has been passed and implemented.
The Democrats in the Assembly asserted that Christie’s proposed rule change was a mistake for public safety.
“These regulations would vastly loosen New Jersey’s appropriately strict gun laws, and allow more people to become eligible for firearm carry permits in our state,” said Senate Majority Leader Weinberg, D-Bergen, in a statement. “In short, they would allow anyone living or working in high-crime neighborhoods to qualify for a firearm carry permit.”
We turned to U.S. Law Shield of New Jersey Independent Program Attorney Evan Nappen for his input. Here is his take:
“This was not unexpected,” said Nappen. “The Legislature had previously informed Gov. Christie and the Division of State Police in writing after the rule change was proposed that the change was not consistent with legislative intent. The notice gave them 30 days to amend the proposal or they would stop it from being implemented.”
“When Gov. Christie refused to amend his proposal,” Nappen added, “the lawmakers carried through on their threat and introduced and passed SCR 117 that takes effect immediately.”
So for now, the permitting process remains the same. — by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield Blog