N.J. Legislature blocks Christie’s attempt to loosen gun law
The Democrat-led Legislature on Monday blocked an attempt by Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, to make it easier to get a gun permit in New Jersey.
State law requires that any resident hoping to get a concealed carry permit must demonstrate a "justifiable need" to have the permit, such as specific threats or previous attacks.
In March Christie expanded the definition of "justifiable need" to include "serious threats," citing the case of Berlin, N.J., resident Carol Bowne, who was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend while her gun permit application was being processed.
But the Assembly blocked the expansion of "justifiable need" this week, just two months after the state Senate passed an identical measure thwarting Christie's proposal.
"It's not in compliance with the law that's in the state of New Jersey," said state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen. "He's attempting to expand the law by using regulation, and that is not the way we like to do things here.'
When Christie first proposed lowering the bar for firearm permit qualifications in March, gun activist Alexander Roubian was thrilled.
But Roubian, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, said legislators this week were again trying to protect the state's "Draconian" gun laws.
"The Democrats once again in New Jersey are guaranteeing the victimhood [of residents] and the easy ability for violent felons who don't care about the law to be able to victimize them even more," said Roubian.
State lawmakers can block any attempts by the executive branch to implement a law that conflicts with the "intent" of the Legislature.
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