Senate panel advances seven gun-control bills

TRENTON – Senate lawmakers, after hours of heated debate Tuesday, cleared a handful of bills of a larger gun bill package out of committee.

The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee released seven bills from committee that make up a larger gun control package.

Republican Sen. Chris Bateman, (R-16), Branchburg, was the only GOP senator present for the hearing and was the only lawmaker to oppose some bills while supporting others.

Prior to the vote, several audience members were removed from the committee hearing by State Police after shouting at lawmakers for cutting off public comment.

The audience also broke out in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Other committee members who voted were Democratic Sens. Donald Norcross, Linda Greenstein and Nicholas Sacco.

The bills that left committee Tuesday:

S2430, which declares violence a public health crisis and recommends expansion of mental health programs. It also recommends federal adoption of gun control measures and establishes the Study Commission on Violence.

The bill cleared along party lines with Bateman voting no, citing redundancies with Gov. Chris Christie’s gun proposal.

S2485, disqualifies a person named on the federal Terrorist Watch List from obtaining a firearms identification card or permit to purchase a handgun.

The bill cleared with unanimous support.

S2492, requires the submission of certain mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The bill cleared with unanimous support.

S2722, provides a 90-day window for persons to dispose of certain unlawfully possessed firearms.

The bill cleared along party lines with Bateman abstaining.

S2723, revises statutes concerning firearms purchaser identification cards and handgun purchase permits. A handgun purchase permit would be valid for four years.

The bill cleared along party lines with Bateman voting no.

S2724, establishes a School Security Task Force.

The bill cleared with unanimous support.

S2725, provides that possession of an air or spring gun for an unlawful purpose is a crime of the third degree.

The bill cleared with unanimous support.

 

Senate panel advances seven gun-control bills