NJ Senate Committee Advances Gun Control Bills

Apr 16, 2018

Supporters and opponents of the bills testify at Senate Law and Public Safety Committee hearing

A package of gun control bills continues to advance in the New Jersey legislature.

Six of the bills approved by a Senate Committee have already been passed by the full Assembly.

Senator Joe Cryan says his latest bill would make it a crime to illegally manufacture so-called ‘ghost guns.”

“They’re purchased off the internet but they’re not completely assembled. So what happens is you purchase them essentially in more than one time, more than one piece, and then you buy the assembly kit. There’s no serial number attached. There’s no registration. They’re not traceable.”

Marcus Hirschhorn is a gunsmith. He opposes the measure, saying it’s too nebulous.

“If an overzealous prosecutor gets ahold of this bill, technically any piece of steel big enough to turn into a gun could in theory wind someone up in jail.”

The other bills would put new restrictions on the capacity of ammunition magazines, ban armor piercing bullets. require background checks for all gun sales, and allow authorities to seize guns from someone a health professional determines is a danger to themselves or others.

Ethan Block is a 16-year-old high school sophomore in Hopewell.  He says the restrictions will help ensure school safety.

“Does it infringe on our second amendment rights to take guns away from people who are a danger to others? Does it infringe on our second amendment rights to require background checks for private sales of firearms?  Does it infringe our rights to ban ammunition only used for the purpose of shooting at security guards and police officers?”

Anthony Colandro owns a firearms range in Woodland Park.  He opposes the all the gun control measures, telling lawmakers it’s absurd to penalize law-abiding citizens for the lawlessness of criminals.

“We are tired of you rich socialists running every aspect of our lives while we are required to shut up, work, and pay our taxes. I’ve had many of our customers and firearms owners tell me that this is the last straw and they will not comply.”

It could be several weeks before the full Senate acts on the gun bills. 

The next voting session is scheduled for June 7th.