TRENTON — Assemblyman Joseph Cryan refused to vote in committee for gun control legislation that was approved along partisan lines in the Legislature’s upper house because he is engaged in a political battle with Senate President Steve Sweeney over the control of the state party apparatus.
Cryan wants Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell of Bayonne to be chairman of the state Democratic Party but Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, called the Hudson County lawmaker, “simply a beard for Joe Cryan.”
O’Donnell was selected for the job by state Sen. Barbara Buono of Metuchen, the Democratic nominee for governor.
Sweeney’s gun bill would replace the current paper cards and permits needed to buy weapons with digitized cards, either embedded in gun purchasers’ driver’s licenses or issued as a separate card by the state police.
It would also require prospective gun buyers to attend a training class and institute background checks for private gun sales among people who are exempt from federal laws that require background checks.
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