A New Jersey Senate committee recently passed a massive package of gun control bills in order to reduce gun violence. The full Senate will vote on the 15 individual bills on Monday.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) is optimistic about the bill. He said, “I always said that I wanted to talk to all sides, and that’s what we did. In the end, I think we have a stronger set of bills.” He added, "This is a good package, and I don’t know what (the Assembly) will do, but I’m confident they see that it’s comprehensive and will become the national model."
The bills would impose a number of major restrictions on gun owners. One bill would require residents to undergo training in order to apply for weapon permits. Another would cause all online ammunition sales to send an electronic notification to the local police. Another bill would reinstate a seven-day “cooling off” period in order to prevent angry, emotional people from buying a gun in the heat of passion.
Votes on the package generally fell along party lines, with the majority of Democrats predictably voting in favor of the bill and Republicans voting against it.
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A few desenters, such as Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D), argue that the newest package is excessive. These bills come in the wake of 22 gun control bills that the Senate passed following the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. Another Democrat, Jeff Van Drew, stated, "Any time there is a tragedy, I don’t know if we should create laws that affect law-abiding citizens." It seems that Van Drew promotes a “cooling off” period for politicians, even if he doesn’t promote a “cooling off” period for angry, would-be gun owners.
Despite dissent form his colleagues, Sweeney has boasted about the bill package. "What we’ve accomplished is what Washington wasn’t able to do," Sweeney said, referring to one of the bills that would create a system of instant background checks.
New Jersey is already one of the strongest proponents of gun control in the nation. If these bills pass the Senate, New Jersey gun owners will have even more to complain about.