Let’s pause here to consider that bursting pipeline of [concealed carry permit] applicants, and allow the math to guide our next steps. Imagine the consequences of another 15,000 guns in each New Jersey county. Imagine thousands more in high-crime cities like Paterson, Newark and Trenton.
That’s why this reform package may be most important gun safety measure drafted in our lifetimes, and the authors have done a stellar job threading the needle on protecting citizens while upholding the new right to carry a concealed gun. They’ve done this by proposing measures to ensure that gun owners are responsible, lawful, and properly trained, while putting reasonable limits on where they can carry their weapon.
But they also know that virtually every provision in this comprehensive bill – which passed two Assembly committees this week, both by party-line vote – is going to be challenged in court.
The NRA and other guns rights organizations will undoubtedly challenge the list of 25 “sensitive places” where firearms cannot be taken under this bill, a common-sense provision that turns schools, government buildings, bars, stadiums, casinos, energy plants, day care centers, and other public places into gun-free zones.
They will also object to the very rational standards for background checks, such as the requirement of four non-family character references that would have to be interviewed by law enforcement before permits are issued. Applicants who have been convicted of certain crimes – including the violation of a restraining order – would be disqualified from obtaining a carry permit.
And they will also challenge the new standards for licensing, which includes an increased fee of $200; and the requirement of liability insurance, which they will call onerous, even though it has withstood challenges in other states. …
The ideologues who have hijacked the Supreme Court want to turn our state into the wild west, so for as long as it takes, New Jersey’s lawmakers must find a way to limit the carnage and protect their people. This is a laudable start.
— Newark Star-Ledger Editorial Board in NJ Is Now a Concealed Carry State. Let’s Adjust Intelligently