Reader SB sends this report on the Trenton gun control bill hearing yesterday:
The Law & Public Safety Committee of the New Jersey Assembly (lower house) was scheduled to hold hearings on 24 docketed civilian disarmament bills yesterday. Yes, they planned to hear comment on 23 complex, highly contentious pieces of legislation in a two-hour window. And they only put these bills on the schedule after 1,000 or so people came out in the pouring cold freezing rain last Friday to protest. So with less than a week’s notice, we had to take off from work, leave our families and other responsibilities twice. Trenton is also very far for many people, it is not centrally located . . .
Roughly 450-500 people showed up and from what we could tell, the anti-gun Assembly Members were overwhelmed by the presence we projected. About 150 of us were not allowed inside because the ran out of room. They had to get us an emergency permit to protest. There were two overflow rooms. However, the hearing was little more than a kangaroo court. I wasn’t there, so I can’t speak verbatim. I believe the video of the preceding will be up on the New Jersey Assembly website in due time.
I want to say, to my surprise, the NJ State Troopers in the Assembly building were very friendly and accommodating They provided us with an American flag, and a podium with a microphone. They attempted to get the audio of the proceeding piped outside, but that never happened.
And reader Chewbacca Defense got his hairy paws on the bills and sends this summary:
1. A588 Spencer, L. Grace/Coutinho, Albert+2.
This bill extends the definition of prohibited ammunition. Hollow points and armor piercing rounds are already banned. Here is the added text; “…or (3) any person, other than a law enforcement officer, who knowingly has in his possession handgun ammunition which (a) has a full metal jacket and an ogive with a steel penetrator tip followed by an aluminum core and is 1 therefore capable of breaching or penetrating body armor, or (b) after testing, the Attorney General determines poses a threat to the safety and well being of law enforcement officers because of the materials, be they metallic or nonmetallic, used in its composition or because its ogive, core or jacket are of a design, construction or formulation which makes it capable of breaching or penetrating body armor…”
The scary part is the ability for the AG to make a decision on what type of ammo poses a threat to public safety and is thus banned.
2. A1116 Fuentes, Angel/Spencer
Establishes 180 day prohibition on purchase of a handgun for certain individuals who fail to report loss or theft of firearm. It says this is from the date of conviction. What do you want to bet it effectively turns into the date of being charged? You have to apply for a handgun permit and receive the okay from the local police station (takes up to a month, then permit expires in 90 days). Will they give you the permit if they see you have been charged with a crime?
3. A1329 Greenwald, Louis D./Quijano
The bill is NJ’s AWB, pretty much a copy of the ’94 federal AWB. The proposed edits reduces magazine capacity from 15 rounds to 10 rounds. I don’t see anything about grandfathering, either for or against. Does that imply grandfathering is not allowed? The bill would take effect on the first day of the third month following enactment.
4. A1387 Wilson, Gilbert L./Johnson, Gordon M.+11 [Positive, I think]
I think this is a good one, if I understand it correctly. The only addition is this phrase multiple times; “Nothing in subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 and any ordinance adopted pursuant to section 2 or 3 of P.L. , c. (C. )(pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be construed to prevent…” I’m not exactly sure what this means, I think it’s saying that if you’re passing through a school zone on your way to the range then they can’t charge you for illegal possession on a gun free zone? [ed: NJ is already a gun free zone with may issue]
5. A1613 Bramnick, Jon M./Johnson, Gordon M.
This looks like a new bill. From the summary; “This bill establishes a 15-member Educational Security Task Force to assist the State Board of Education in developing Statewide security guidelines and standards for New Jersey school districts. The goal of the guidelines and standards will be to empower public schools to develop plans, procedures, and tools to provide safe and secure learning environments for students and district employees.” Read on through the rest of the summary for more details. It creates a task force to come up with recommendations is the short of it.
6. A3510 Johnson, Gordon M./Vainieri Huttle, Valerie
“Requires proof of firearms safety training as a condition for issuance of firearms purchaser ID cards and permits to purchase handguns.” A FID (Firearms Identification Card; purchaser’s card) applicant must provide “evidence of successfully completing a firearms safety class or course of a type approved by the superintendent or has received such training through law enforcement or military service. The course or class may be offered by the National Rifle Association, a State or local law enforcement agency, junior college, college, university, firearms training school, or any other entity approved by the superintendent. The superintendent shall prescribe the manner and form of the evidence of qualification an applicant is required to present pursuant to this paragraph.
7. A3583 Wilson, Gilbert L.
Creates a task force, looks like the same thing as A1613 above.
8. A3645 Greenwald, Louis D./Eustace, Timothy J.
This is a new bill. Bans internet sales of ammo, requires face-to-face transactions with an FFL. Doing otherwise would result in a “crime of the fourth degree [which] is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.” It also exempts LEO’s and collectors transferring “ammunition which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance.”
9. A3646 Greenwald, Louis D.
This is a new bill. It establishes an ammunition regulatory scheme. I’m not really sure what this does, since it states things you already have to do. You already need your FID and a photo ID to purchase ammo in person, which is what it describes. Perhaps the punishments are new/stricter? “The bill provides that violators are guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.”
10. A3659 Barnes, Peter J./Johnson, Gordon M.
Revises definition of banned destructive devices to include .50 caliber firearms. “A person violating this provision would be guilty of a crime of the third degree…punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, imprisonment for three to five years, or both.” The bill allows you 1 year to get rid of your firearm if it is banned under this provision. Also, does anyone know of an instance where a .50 caliber was used in a crime?
This policy bothers me, it’s the same thing Cumo did in NY with mags over 7 rounds. They’re basically saying these devices are evil and you shouldn’t be allowed to have them, but as long as they’re not in my state I don’t care. It’s very hypocritical to claim that they are a problem and then force individuals to dump said “problem” onto another state.
11. A3666 Cryan, Joseph/O’Donnell, Jason+1
This is a new bill. It bans mail order ammo sales, same as A3645.
12. A3668 Jasey, Mila M./McKeon, John F.+3
This is a new bill prohibiting investment by State of pension and annuity funds in companies manufacturing, importing, and selling assault firearms for civilian use.
13. A3687 Stender, Linda/Fuentes, Angel Firearm id card
Disqualifies person named on federal Terrorist Watchlist from obtaining firearms identification card or permit to purchase handgun. TTAG has previously laid out the issues with this; http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/foghorn/feinstein-lautenberg-introduce-bill-that-would-ban-those-on-terrorist-watchlist-from-buying-guns/.
14. A3717 Lampitt, Pamela R./Singleton, Troy
Requires NJ to submit mental health records to the NICS system.
15. A3748 O’Donnell, Jason/Mainor, Charles
Requires NICS on private sales. Of course this needs to be done through/at an FFL and does not create a system or way for individuals to call it in. “A person who violates the provisions of the bill is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A fourth degree crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.” Immediate family is exempt and “is defined in the bill as a spouse, domestic partner, child, or step-child.”
16. A3750 Cryan, Joseph/O’Donnell, Jason
Requires that within 180 days of passing that an electronic real time reporting system for tracking ammunition sales be implemented. The info would be available to LEOs in real time, but have no fear, it protects the information from the public. This sounds extremely complicated and expensive to put into place. It’s basically ammunition registration, and if you’re buying ammo you must also have a gun so I also see it as back door gun registration.
17. A3754 Cryan, Joseph/O’Donnell, Jason
Requires firearms seizure when a mental health professional determines a patient poses a threat to themselves or others. “If a licensed practitioner of psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, clinical social work or marriage counseling who is currently providing treatment services determines, in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment, that the patient is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others, the licensee shall report, as soon as practicable to the Attorney General” at which time you will receive an unexpected armed presence at your door to relieve you of your firearms.
18. A3772 Eustace, Timothy J./Wagner, Connie
Requires that FID’s be renewed every 5 years. Currently there is no expiration date, you would just lose it if you do something wrongful to lose it.
19. A3788 Rible, David P./Dancer, Ronald S.+6 [Positive]
“Codifies regulation exempting firearms records from State’s open public records law; abolishes common law right of access to these records.” Prevents papers from publishing your information like what happened in NY.
20. A3796 Mainor, Charles
This new bill provides a 90 day period following enactment to allow individuals to turn in illegally possessed firearms without being punished. It’s basically a gun buy-back, but does not appear to compensate you in any way for your donation.
21. A3797 Mainor, Charles
This new bill requires law enforcement to submit seized firearm information to the National Ballistics
Identification Network, to cross check with any crimes. It also requires a live fire test and reporting of the ballistic information. Will they check guns voluntarily turned in as per A3796 above? What if it is associated with a crime, A3796 says you won’t be charged with illegal possession of a firearm when you turn it in, but I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t still come back to charge you with whatever crime the firearm was involved in if that is found to be the case.
22. ACR180 Greenwald, Louis D./Oliver, Sheila Y.
This new memo bill (if that’s what you want to call it) “Urges President and Congress of United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures.” This is basically a nice letter stating support and urging enactment of all of Obama’s proposed gun control measures. It’s just a pretty memo pandering to the president.
23. AR143 Quijano, Annette/Cryan, Joseph+2
This new memo bill “expresses support for gun buyback programs established by the Attorney General of this State and encourages more of these programs to be held throughout the State.
6 Gun buyback programs held in this State, including Camden, have proven successful in reducing the number of weapons on the street being used to commit crimes.”
24. AR144 Oliver, Sheila Y.
This new memo bill “Urges Governor Christie’s Administration not to apply for annual exemption from requirements of federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.” I’m not an expert on this one. The law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_Health_Parity_Act), according to the American Psychological Association, “…requires health insurance to cover both mental and physical health equally. Under this law, insurance companies can no longer arbitrarily limit the number of hospital days or outpatient treatment sessions, or assign higher co-payments or deductibles for those in need of psychological services…” (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/parity-law.aspx). So as I understand it, the law requires insurance companies to cover mental health treatment and keep the costs down relative to physical health treatment costs. If it was not extended those costs would go up. If they go up people won’t get appropriate mental health, or they just won’t seek it at all. If gun control advocates want people with mental health issues reported to NICS, wouldn’t they want as many people to be screened by mental health professionals as possible? Making such treatment cost prohibitive seems counter intuitive to civilian disarmament measures, right?