New Jersey governor signs bill overhauling gun carry rules
SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed an overhaul to the rules to get a firearm carry permit, legislation that was spurred by this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights.
“While we are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling, we are also obligated to do everything we can to make sure guns don’t proliferate,” Murphy, a Democrat, said before signing the measure during a ceremony in Scotch Plains.
The Democrat-led Senate had passed the measure Monday, sending it to Murphy’s desk. Republicans had opposed the legislation, raising questions about its constitutionality, and gun rights advocates predicted it wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.
“By signing this legislation, Gov. Murphy has effectively ended any chance of ever being elected to higher office outside of New Jersey, and has confirmed that the Constitution is indeed ‘above his pay grade,’” said Scott Bach, the head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs,
The legislation scraps New Jersey’s current requirement that those seeking a permit to carry a firearm show “justifiable need” and be of “good character” to reflect the Supreme Court’s June ruling. Other changes in the legislation include disqualifications for those who have been confined over their mental health, people who have had restraining orders as any “fugitive from justice.”
The measure also calls for the end of a paper permitting system that used quadruplicate documents to register applicants. It also would establish a yet-to-be created online gun sales portal.
It increases from three to four the number of endorsements from non-family members in order to get a permit. They would also have to be interviewed by law enforcement officials as well.
The measure also boosts training requirements, calling for online, in-person classroom and target-shooting instruction. And it would require permit carriers to carry liability insurance.
It bars people from carrying in many public places, including state buildings, schools, polling places, child-care facilities, publicly owned parks and beaches, as wells concert venues and bars.