NJ Senate Approved 10 Gun Control Bills

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STATE — The New Jersey Senate approved 10 gun control bills, three of which now head to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk and seven that must receive legislative clearance in the Assembly.

All 17 Senate Republicans voted against legislation that would replace the current firearms purchase card with a data-embedded photo ID, require gun dealers to conduct an instant background check, require firearms safety training for future gun buyers and upgrade the penalty for allowing a minor access to a loaded firearm from a disorderly persons offense to a fourth degree crime.

The bill, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and nine other Democrats, passed 23-17 along party lines. Sweeney said the gun control bill should be a national model.

The new system will have information on permits for handguns and hunting rifles encoded on the buyer’s driver’s license or a state-issued “smartcard.”

The electronic process will allow for instant background checks and real-time reporting, immediately identifying those who aren’t allowed to purchase firearms and giving law enforcement the ability to instantly revoke permits from those who become disqualified.

Sen. Tom Kean Jr., the Republican minority leader who was rated “F” by Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs in January 2003,

Sweeney said he doesn’t know if Gov. Chris Christie will sign the measures

Christie may now sign or veto a bill that would require people applying for gun permits to supply mental-health records to the national background check system.

Another would prohibit public state pension funds from investing in companies manufacturing military-style assault weapons for consumer use.

The third measure heading for Christie’s desk would disqualify anyone named on a terrorist watch list from obtaining a gun permit.

Democrats in the General Assembly passed more than 20 gun control bills in February, in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school massacre.

With lawmakers taking aim at violent video games to proposing tighter restictions on the number of bullets that can be loaded at one time, the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children has inspired ingenuity but at its core, Republicans oppose gun control.

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