NJ Politics Digest: State’s Strict Gun Laws Likely to Get Even Stricter

A visitor holds a pistol at a gun display during a National Rifle Association outdoor sports trade show on February 10, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Great American Outdoor Show, a nine day event celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions, features over 1,000 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER

A visitor holds a pistol at a gun display during a National Rifle Association outdoor sports trade show. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

A package of gun laws that would tighten New Jersey’s already strict regulations has been approved by the legislature and is now heading to Gov. Phil Murphy, who appears likely to sign them.

The state Senate on Thursday approved six new gun measures that would reduce the permitted magazine size, tighten rules for concealed carry permits, ban armor-piercing bullets, expand background checks and make it easier for authorities to seize guns by people considered a threat, according to NJ.com.

Murphy has already voiced his support for the measures.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald was among the state Democrats who praised the passage of the measures, which he said would give New Jersey “the strongest gun laws in the nation,” according to the report.

Gun rights advocates, however, contend the bills do nothing to actually make people safer and will just make things more difficult for law-abiding gun owners.

The vote comes two days after conservative Democratic Sen. Jeff Van Drew won the primary race for the 2nd Congressional District. Van Drew’s high legislative rating by the National Rifle Association was an issue in the race.

But on Thursday, Van Drew supported a majority of the measures. He did vote against reducing the size of magazine capacity from 15 to 10 rounds, a plan he said won’t increase safety but will make it more difficult for residents who want to participate in competive shooting, where some contests require using 15-round magazines, according to the NJ.com report. He also voted against the measure to tighten concealed carry regulations, the report said.

Quote of the Day: “We need them to plan and adopt long-term, sustainable solutions rather than attempt to tax our way out of fiscal challenges.” — Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, opposing proposals to increase taxes in the state.

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NJ Politics Digest: State’s Strict Gun Laws Likely to Get Even Stricter