TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie, who signed 11 gun control bills over the past two weeks, took his CV pen to one of the most far-reaching bills, Senate President Steve Sweeney’s omnibus legislation.
After saying in his CV message today that the bills that were signed enhance New Jersey’s strong gun laws, Christie said that “This bill, in contrast, seeks to impose an entirely new regulatory system on the lawful ownership of firearms.”
For example, Christie says that the technology does not exist to facilitate a main component of S2723: modernizing permits by linking all firearms permits information into a digital “smartcard’’ maintained by the state police, the Motor Vehicle Commission, and the Department of Law and Public Safety.
“The system envisioned by this bill requires a complex interconnection of government records that cannot be linked, plugged into numerous federal databases that will not accommodate access, updated in real time through an unspecified process, and accessible by all licensed dealers through point-of-sale terminals that are not currently available for purchase,” Christie wrote.
In addition, Christie said, no money has been appropriated to accomplish this purpose.
“The unworkable futuristic firearms card, however, does not impact other portions of this bill that can immediately and reasonably bolster our state’s gun laws,’’ Christie said.
“The bill appropriately requires a New Jersey Firearms Identification Card for the purchase of all ammunition, and reasonably restricts shipments of ammunition to the address specified on that identification Card.
“Criminals disqualified from possessing a firearm are likewise prohibited from possessing ammunition, subject to new criminal penalties including imprisonment up to eighteen months.
“These sensible new regulations should become law.”
Christie also backed a provision of the bill that creates an offense for gun owners who allow minors to have access to a firearm that leads to injury or death.
“In addition, this bill strengthens our mental health laws by requiring physicians and screeners overseeing involuntary commitments to inquire about gun ownership,” he said.
Finally, Christie addressed the part of the bill requiring training.
“A better approach than suggested in this bill is to require that all local law enforcement entities distribute a pamphlet explaining the best practices for gun ownership, and a list of available courses for basic and advanced firearms training.”
In conclusion, Christie said that “I reiterate my commitment to common-sense solutions to the problems of violence in our State. We should focus our collective efforts on causes, not just effects; on hidden dangers in our everyday entertainment, not merely obvious hazards; on the sometimes upsetting and difficult dimensions of mental illness that are easier ignored than confronted.”