After signing a bill banning guns for New Jersey residents on double secret probation the FBI’s unaccountable terrorist watch list and authorizing the state to impound the vehicles of citizens found with an illegal weapon, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is getting mega-props for vetoing legislation that would have banned .50-caliber rifles and created a gun owner registration scheme that would have made Russian communists blush. The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs is over the moon. [Press release after the jump.] And I guess they’re right. But Chris Christie’s tightrope act—balancing between Garden State gun grabbers and firearms owners yearning to be free—is the worst kind of sell-out politics. Presidential material? I hope not . . .

In a huge blow to anti-gun politicians and the gun ban lobby, today Governor Christie flat-out vetoed the fifty caliber ban (A3659) and conditionally vetoed two other bills – Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s “kitchen sink” F.I.D. card bill (S2723), and a bill that that would have forced the State Police to breach confidentiality of protected gun trace data in violation of federal law (A3797). A fourth bill creating a task force to study school security issues was signed by the Governor (A3583) . . .

A “conditional veto” means that the legislation is dead, unless the legislature reconvenes to resurrect it through amendments that meet strict conditions imposed by the Governor. Whether anti-gun Democrats have the stomach to swallow those conditions (see details below) remains to be seen. Alternatively, the legislature could try to override any veto (conditional or otherwise) by a 2/3 vote of both houses, which is highly unlikely given the current composition of the legislature.

“After 7 months of intense battle over misguided legislation that won’t stop another crime or prevent another tragedy, we are grateful that Governor Christie has finally ended the discussion on the worst of the bills by tossing them onto the scrap heap where they belong,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “These vetoes put gun-banning politicians on notice that exploiting tragedy to advance an agenda against legal gun owners, instead of punishing violent criminals, will not be entertained.”

Today’s actions come in the wake of last week’s signing of ten gun bills by Governor Christie (two helped gun owners, two were opposed by gun owners, and six were neutralized based on gun owner input but are appropriately very tough on violent criminals). New Jersey already has some of the strictest and most extreme gun laws in the nation.

The bill flat-out vetoed by Governor Christie today was:

A3659 – the fifty caliber gun ban that would have: prohibited high muzzle-energy guns of any caliber; blocked heirlooms from family members; held grandfathered owners civilly liable for damages if their firearms were ever used in a crime; and forfeited the pending purchase orders of licensed gun owners for these $10,000+ firearms.

The notion that banning any particular tool makes society safer is demonstrably false, and ignores the obvious reality that someone intent on doing evil will not be stopped or deterred if one particular tool becomes unavailable. “If box cutters could take down the World Trade Center, does anyone really believe that banning box cutters will stop the next terrorist?” commented Bach. “The same is true of firearms – banning the fifty caliber or any other firearm will not stop someone bent on doing evil.”

The Governor’s statement on A3659 criticizes the scope of the ban, notes drafting errors that would defeat grandfathering, and observes that rather than combating crime and terror, the bill only serves to threaten law-abiding gun owners with imprisonment for lawful recreation.

The two bills conditionally vetoed by Governor Christie today are:

S2723 – Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s “kitchen sink” FID card bill, a 42-page monstrosity universally despised by gun owners and sportsmen. The bill, touted by Democrats as the “centerpiece” of their gun bill package and a “national model,” would have: thrown out existing FID cards and replaced them with a privacy-invading driver license endorsement or other form of ID; suspended Second Amendment rights without proof of firearms training; ended firearms sales directly between background-checked licensed gun owners; and had numerous other impacts.

Under Governor Christie’s conditional veto, S2723 could only be resurrected if both houses of the legislature agreed to the following conditions:

– Remove all provisions that would have created a new electronic FID card (keeps the existing permitting system in place);

– Remove all provisions that would have suspended Second Amendment rights without proof of firearms training;

– Remove all provisions that would have ended firearms sales directly between background-checked licensed gun owners; and

– Add a provision requiring the State Police to develop and promulgate literature regarding safe firearms storage and ownership.

It is unknown whether Democratic legislative leadership would accept these conditions. While doing so would salvage what is left of their “centerpiece,” the final bill would be a gutted version, stripped of the most blatant attacks on legal gun owners, and very likely an embarrassment to Democrats.

If Democrats decided to swallow that bitter pill, other key provisions of the Sweeney bill that would be retained would include: requiring an FID card or other permit for all ammunition purchases; limiting shipment of online ammunition purchases to the address on the FID card; making it a 4th degree crime if injury or death results from the failure to properly secure firearms; making it a 4th degree crime for someone prohibited from possessing firearms to possess ammunition; requiring mental health screeners to inquire about firearms ownership of those being considered for involuntary commitment for mental health reasons; and revocation of NJ concealed carry permits upon conviction of a crime of the 4th degree or higher.

The Governor’s statement accompanying his conditional veto expressed support in principle for some of these provisions, yet also criticized the legislature as “shortsighted” for focusing on gun control instead of comprehensive violence solutions. The statement also noted the bill’s failure “to directly combat violence,” and the current unavailability of the technology that would be required to implement the digitized FID card.

A3797 – conditionally vetoed because of one section that required the State Police to breach confidentiality of federal gun trace data in direct violation of federal law that limits the data to law enforcement only. This was an attempt by frustrated gun banners to circumvent that federal law, so that idiosyncrasies of the ATF’s trace system could be exploited and manipulated to falsely suggest that law abiding citizens are a source of “crime guns.” ATF has opposed similar efforts to circumvent confidentiality, which could compromise ongoing investigations. If the legislature amends the bill to remove this illegal provision, the amended bill would then return to the Governor’s desk.

PLEASE THANK GOVERNOR CHRISTIE TODAY!

Please thank Governor Christie today for his actions on the fifty caliber ban, the Sweeney bill, and the trace data confidentiality bill. You can call the Governor’s office at 609-292-6000, write him at P.O. Box 001, Trenton, N.J. 08625, or send an email using the online contact form (select “law and public safety” from the drop-down menu, then pick any sub-topic).

And thank YOU for weathering this 7-month-long storm of the worst attacks on gun owners in state history along with us. It is because of YOUR actions, YOUR calls and letters, YOUR attendance at hearings, and YOUR refusal to give up no matter what the odds, that today’s outcome was possible.

Although today’s action marks the end of a long and very arduous battle, the fight is far from over. The most oft-repeated statement by anti-gun legislators at hearings over the past 7 months was “these bills are only the beginning.” They will be back after the November elections, and will continue their relentless attacks on legal gun ownership – and it will be up to gun owners to continue to defend freedom.

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58 Responses to NJ Gov. Christie Vetoes Three Gun Control Bills

  1. Posturing for his run in 2016. He was a full on anti-gun politician back in the day and boasted about his support for gun bans. Now he has a change of heart since he is eying a run for the White House. He has no values and blows (with the political winds). Anyone with no core values is not to be trusted.

  2. This doesn’t’t change my mind ,on if he runs for president to vote for him.He has already shown his contempt for gun owners due to his passing the gun laws he has signed.As far as I am concerned he might as well save his money for retirement.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

      • Not likely, just stay home by the millions just like Mitt Romney wasn’t conservative enough, too rich, Romney care or whatever and it is so much more satisfying to bitch about Obama for 4 more years.

        • Anybody who ‘stayed home’ rather than voting for Romney during the last election is a moron and crybaby and deserved what they got if they lived in the states that got gun restrictions. You push for the candidate you want (mitt was not my first choice, either) then vote for the best candidate during the general election.
          Elections matter, and they have consequences.

        • I’d rather see us running down the road to hell and have everyone with half a brain REALIZE that we’re hellbound than continue meandering down that road without anyone objecting. Screw the Republican party. They need to die.

        • Christian, you then voted for Barry to take your guns. You moron. We live in the real world, not some college dorm sucking on the bong of misplaced idealism. You think like a silly little girl. Grow up.

        • “Staying home” does no good for anybody. But I will not vote for Christie due to this issue, and I will not vote for Hillary because… Hillary. Staying home says you’re lazy enough your views can be ignored without penalty. Go vote for a third party. He won’t win, no fear there, but those who put all those numbers together will know that you got up, got out, registered and voted, but they DID NOT EARN YOUR VOTE! Voting for a grabbing jackass because “he’s not Hillary” is as stupid as any other blind, unthinking vote. With any luck, this crap will cost Christie the nomination, and it won’t be a worry. Maybe he can rehabilitate himself in another 4 years, but I doubt it, he thinks NJ’s desires are all that matters, a mindset not ready for the main event.

          And if you think I voted for Barry to take my guns, he can come and take them. I can defend myself. My wife and granddaughter cannot. Republicans must, I said MUST drop the holy roller campaign and stick to fiscal and freedom issues, leave women alone.

      • Seeing how Team Red rolled over for every bad idea that Bush the Lesser had, divided government is probably for the best. Thank God for Gridlock.

  3. Its only a matter of time until someone who gets denied for unknowingly being a member of the Terrorist Watchlist Club raises a stink, and the whole idea of that list gets razed to nothingness.

    The media and “general populace” (read sheeple) are already becoming anti secrecy thanks to Snowden. Did his information help US? Maybe. But it sure woke people up.

    As far as the rest of it goes, good I guess. But all it takes is one left wingnut to buy a .50, take down a helicopter, and scream “See! This is why these shouldn’t be allowed!”

  4. Please thank Christie?

    Thanks for only rounding up and slaughtering some of my friends and family fuhrer. Thanks a bunch.

    Sad day when people rejoice in the boot coming down only so hard.

    • “And then expect you to say ‘thank you,’ straighten up, look proud and pleased.
      Because you’ve only got the symptoms; you haven’t got the whole disease.”

      — Elvis Costello, on the Thatcher Regime

  5. So now he’s managed to piss off everyone! The 10 he signed guarantee none of us will vote for him, and the 3 he didn’t will give the grabbers something to hammer him over.

      • It’s better to face an open antagonist and enemy, rather than one that tries to hide his hatred for you and all you hold dear.

      • Puts him on a par with Hillary. If both switched parties after the primaries, would you vote for the Dem Christie, or the GOP Hillary? The answer is NEITHER! But vote, to let them know you are a participant, they just did not earn your vote. If not Lib, find another fruitcake. It is a PROTEST vote.

        I support FREEDOM! ALL freedom. Freedom for a woman to decide what to do with her own body and its natural processes. Freedom to protect yourself. Freedom to decide how much to donate to whom. Freedom to tell a LEO to go get a warrant, and to ask for probable cause. FREEDOM. Is this so tough?

    • Yes, I know this site is about guns.
      Christie is no different from Romney or McCain. He will lose along with all (R) candidates that are not true conservatives.
      (R) vote counts
      2004 – Bush – 62,040,610
      2008 – McCain – 59,948,323
      2012 – Romney – 60,933,500
      (R) candidates with conservative cred bring out conservative voters…and gun rights voters.
      With population growth, there is no reason a previous election cycle candidate should out poll the next two candidates. Doesn’t mean McCain or Romney should have won, but they should have gotten more votes than Bush -four and eight years before. After Bush, no (R) could have won so it was a good time for McCain to run and get it over with. (His own mother said we would have to hold our noses and vote for him.) Blue liberal states picked Romney and the primary was over before gun rights states ever cast a vote. I don’t have an answer for this other than all states vote on the same primary day. I don’t believe Christie will be the nominee, but if he is, get out and vote for pro-gun reps and senators and you may as well pull the handle for the (R) to keep the (D) from even thinking they have a chance in the red states. The easiest way to fight for gun rights is to vote.

      • It is sad that any one thinks either of the Bushes had any type of conservative cred. They were both big government loving neocons.

      • Really. All BS aside, what IS a “true conservative”. Can we get a real definition without all the PC dodging and jinking?

  6. He gets nothing from me, this is all about 2016. If he reps for the GOP I will abstain, or vote Libertarian or Constitutional Party.

  7. He’s like a teenaged boy telling his girlfriend, “It’s okay. I’ll just put the head in.”
    Terrorist watch list? Add to that all the other grabbers ideas: Recent vets who may have been stressed, anyone who is or may have been depressed, someone who’s vindictive ex makes a fictional claim about him, someone who may have a spouse or relative on medication, and on and on. It all adds up to Death by a Thousand Cuts. The watch list is a big one since we don’t even know how we might land on it. Read Tea Party reports on line? Search a lot of gun sights? What will the new standard be? It’s nothing but an open-ended tool.

  8. At the GOP lovefest in Boston Christie told those attending that they should do whatever it takes to win. I guess he is leading by example. Great for NJ gun owners but he is not getting my vote.

  9. Thank you Gov. Christie! You’ve earned yourself a nice Krispy Kreme donut, but you haven’t earned my vote. Sorry ’bout that.

  10. Sort of like being pistol-whipped and then being thrown a band-aid.

    If he’s the R’s 2016 nominee, I’m staying home on election day.

    • You still have a civic duty to vote, just like you have a civic duty to be a gun owner.

      Staying home is never acceptable. Vote Libertarian, or just abstain on the presidential contest, but show up and cast a ballot.

      • Not anymore.

        I will not hold my nose and vote for a candidate again.

        I will not support the party with money or time, as my voice is no longer being heard at party headquarters.

        • You can cast a ballot without voting for any candidate, and you should, if that’s how you feel.

      • Do not abstain, unless you really believe that would not increase your probability of showing up as voting for someone you really hate. Blank ballots are real easy to make unblank.

  11. Someone REALLY wants to be President in 2016….given the track Record of the idiots voting in the primaries and the big GOP donors he will very well get the nod in 2016….so it will be the Whale(Christie) vs the Shrew(Clinton) and either way our gun rights will get screwed when the next president appoints more antis to the SCOTUS

  12. I wouldn’t vote for that pompous McNugget any more than I would vote for Big Mac Michael Moore. What law gives NJ the legal authority to impound automobiles?

  13. NJ pro 2a groups want us to thank Christie for the veto.Why should i thank him for passing 10 anti bills?The only reason he vetoed these is because hes seeing the damage anti gunners are taking,and he has this insane dream of being POTUS.

  14. Anyone that doesn’t vote for the ass parties primary opposition may as well vote for the ass’. Hillary can’t be president anyway, she had her 8 years, as did Greenspan. Bill could run again I guess, so could GWB for what it’s worth. Romney hated guns but not as much as Obama. Its called the lesser of two evils. Hopefully Rand Paul will get the job but Cruze might be a better choice seeing he is Latino and may pull more votes.

    • Just keep voting Republican. They’ll sell you slowly down the river, much more slowly than the Dems. But you’ll get there at the same time.

      • If ya didn’t vote for Mitt (was not my first choice either)…ya voted for Barry. Elections matter, and have consequences. You vote who you like UNTIL the general election, then you vote the lesser of two evils. Otherwise, your a little girl who threw a tantrum and did not get their EXACT way, so they voted for Donald Duck as a write in.

      • There are very few practical political alternatives anymore. The Republican Party is about as useful as a dead, bloated Opossum in the middle of the road, and the Democrat Party is nothing more than a street corner crack whore who turns tricks for votes. Washington DC is institutionally corrupt; there is very little hope for any kind of reform. Reform would require de-centralization and neutering the Federal government, and there are too many folks in power that will not let that happen. These are the people who will have blood on their hands in the future; it’s only a matter of time before there is a second civil war of some degree.

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