Committee Advances Scutari’s Bill To Keep People On Federal “No Fly” List From Buying Guns

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas P. Scutari that would disqualify individuals named on the federal ‘No Fly’ List from purchasing firearms in New Jersey was recently approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. The measure is part of a comprehensive bill package put forward by Senate Democrats to combat gun violence and to make New Jersey’s streets safer.

“New Jersey’s gun-control laws are among the strongest in the nation, but there is more we can do to ensure that firearms are kept out of the hands of criminals,” said Scutari (D-Union). “As written, our current gun laws should prevent certain individuals from legally obtaining firearms. However, this measure will provide another layer of protection by ensuring that anyone known to the federal government as a threat and has been placed on the No-Fly list is explicitly prohibited from purchasing a gun in this state.”

Under current law, the issuance of a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun may be denied to any person if it “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” While this provision should provide grounds for denying a person named on the federal “No Fly list” administered by the United States Transportation Security Administration from being issued either a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun, the legislation (S-2485) would create a separate statutory provision denying a person’s capability to lawfully obtain a firearm in this State.

“There is no reason that any person thought by law enforcement to be such a threat to the public that they have been placed on the federal No-Fly list should be given access to a gun,” said Scutari. “This common sense measure appropriately disqualifies those individuals from being issued a handgun permit or firearms ID card, which bars them from legally buying a gun in New Jersey.”

The No-Fly List is a list of individuals who are prohibited from boarding an aircraft. The list is a subset of the Terrorist Screening Database, which is administered by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To be included on the No-Fly list, an individual must be in the Terrorist Screening Database and meet additional criteria, beyond the “reasonable suspicion” standard generally required for inclusion in the database.

The measure was approved by a vote of 4-0.

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