Trenton, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- After a heated four-hour hearing yesterday (April 30 213), the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee passed all 7 pieces of gun legislation that were before it, in a largely partisan vote.
The remaining bills in the package are scheduled to be heard in committee tomorrow (May 2 2013) beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Your attendance tomorrow remains important, not only to the remaining process in the Senate, but also to the upcoming action in the Governor’s office.
More than 400 gun owners turned out at yesterday’s hearing. The committee room was completely packed two hours before the noon hearing, and two overflow rooms were also filled. Several dozen anti-gunners were also in attendance.
Representatives of ANJRPC, NRA, NJSFSC, and NJ2AS testified on behalf of gun owners. The entire proceedings can be viewed here (select Tuesday, April 30 from the menu). The testimony of these four organizations begins at approximately 21:30.
Although the Senators on the committee said they were going to treat the hearing process more fairly than the Assembly did in February, there were a number of troubling occurrences during the hearing. First, the four organizations above were promised speaking time of ten minutes each to adequately articulate the concerns of their members. When they came to the table, they were told they had ten minutes total, completely disrupting the planned testimony. Yet the first group of anti-gun speakers were given approximately thirty minutes to speak.
Next, despite a late start to the hearing and a lengthy break, citizen testimony was cut off at 4 p.m. Many individuals who took a day off from work and travelled long distances so they could speak their minds were denied that opportunity. When members of the audience protested, they were surrounded by State Police and threatened with expulsion. The situation was defused when the entire audience in the hearing room spontaneously stood up and loudly recited the pledge of allegiance, which had not been recited by the committee at the opening of the hearing. The committee then proceeded with its vote and several members of the audience left in frustration.
See the Star-Ledger’s coverage of the hearing here.
The committee passed bills that would mandate training as a pre-condition to owning firearms, end private sales, replace the FID and handgun permits with a privacy-invading data strip on driver’s licenses, electronically report long gun purchases and ammunition sales to the State Police, suspend Second Amendment rights of persons whose name appears on secret government lists kept by federal bureaucrats, create two different study commissions, and more. ANJRPC will have an update to its detailed legislative analysis after it reviews final amended legislation following the conclusion of Senate hearings.
Included on the agenda for Thursday’s hearing are bills that would ban fifty caliber firearms (including numerous modern handguns and rifles), mandate that the State Police publicly disclose confidential ATF trace data in violation of federal law, revoke dealer licenses without evidence of any wrongdoing, imprison dealers for selling a firearm to a parent who intends to give it to a minor child when they come of age, and more. The official agenda is posted here (select May 2 from menu). However, this agenda is subject to change, contains numerous Assembly bills that are being consolidated into new Senate versions, and the most recent Senate versions may be changed on the day of the hearing. What is posted is confusing at best.
It is imperative that you keep calling, emailing and faxing Senate President Stephen Sweeney and the members of the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee and urge them to oppose this anti-gun bill package (contact info below). If they’re not going to see the light on these bills, then they still need to feel the heat.
We urge you to attend in person and testify on the remaining bills on Thursday. It remains extremely important that legislators continue to hear from us. Buses are not available for Thursday’s hearing.
Time and location information are as follows:
Thursday, May 2, 2013
- Scheduled Time: 10:30 a.m. until completed (probably mid-afternoon)
- Location: State House Annex, Committee Room 4 (first floor), 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608. There is ample paid parking (and a restaurant) at the nearby Trenton Marriott Downtown (2 blocks away).
SENATE PRESIDENT STEPHEN SWEENEY (D3)
(856) 251-9801 office
(856) 251-9752 fax
MEMBERS OF THE NEW JERSEY SENATE LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE:
Donald Norcross (Chair) (D5)
Linda Greenstein (Vice Chair) (D14)