Trenton Democrats desperately want to pass something, anything. They just are not sure what. So far, their approach has been to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Make no mistake, Gov. Phil Murphy loaded them up with plenty of bad ideas, and now, they seem destined to intertwine their political fortunes (or misfortunes) with his.
As previously reported, your NRA testified against a package of gun bills on Wednesday in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. With less than 24-hours-notice, we were back to do the same in the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee on Thursday. The late schedule change was accompanied by late amendments and bill drafts, which in some cases, were being handed out as lawmakers were still shuffling into the room. In addition, two sitting members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were late scratches, with Sen. Joe Cryan and Senate President Nicholas Scutari sitting in to fill the vacancies. Perhaps all of their members do not want to be forced to vote for unworkable and unconstitutional gun control bills? We will never know what the motivation was for the swap-out. Regular committee members were not the only thing scratched for the day. Several bills did not make the cut in the Senate Committee either, including bills to require mandatory storage and a bill to raise the age for long gun purchases from 18 to 20. This does not mean they are dead; far from it. Ultimately, there is a lot to be sorted out. Some bills have passed one chamber but not the other. Some haven’t passed either chamber and yet others have been amended. Remember, for a bill to go to the Governor, it has to pass both chambers in identical form.
At the end of the week, every single Democrat on both panels voted in favor of the gun bills, moving them to the Appropriations Committee before sending them to the floor in both chambers. As Thursday’s hearing was happening, the Supreme Court released its Bruen decision which seemed to inject another layer of uncertainty into the plans of Trenton gun grabbers. New Jersey, of course, was one of six states specifically mentioned in that decision. The decision is going to force the state to make some changes with how it has been issuing (or not issuing) concealed carry permits.
There are Senate and Assembly sessions scheduled for next Thursday and Friday. They are trying to finish up the budget, and these are the days when this package of bills could potentially move before a brief summer recess.
They don’t know what they are doing in Trenton, but we do! We are opposing any and all gun control in the Garden State. New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and enough is enough. Please continue your sustained pressure and contact your Assembly member and Senator today!