AnthonyG

N.J. senator pushes law to carry handguns

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The link to the webpage

 

 

TRENTON — A lawmaker wants to make it easier for New Jersey residents to carry handguns, and he thinks the state can make some money in the process.

 

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) introduced a bill last week that would allow residents to carry handguns if they go through a background check, complete courses in firearms safety and the lawful use of force, pass a test and pay an annual $500 fee.

 

Current state law only gives carry permits to those who demonstrate a "justifiable need" to their local police chief and then a Superior Court judge — a nearly impossible hurdle, Van Drew says.

 

"You have to fear for your life, that you’re going to be killed, in essence," said Van Drew. "It’s virtually never done."

 

Van Drew owns two handguns — but he can’t carry them around.

 

New Jersey residents may purchase handguns through a permit process that involves being fingerprinted by local police and undergoing a background check. A permit must be obtained for each handgun purchased, and the buyer must go through a background check each time he or she wants to buy another pistol.

 

The state also has strict regulations guiding how handgun owners may transport their pistols outside their homes, requiring the pistol to be placed, unloaded, in a fastened case and carried in the trunk of a vehicle. If the vehicle has no trunk or separate compartment, the unloaded handgun must be kept in a locked box out of reach of passengers.

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Those rules also apply to the handgun owners who hold special "carry permits" unless otherwise specified in the permit that allows them to have their handgun on their person. Each "carry permit" is tailored to the person holding it, setting the specific hours in a day, days in a week and the exact locations and circumstances in which a handgun owner may carry his or her gun.

 

Van Drew represents a largely rural and traditionally Republican South Jersey district and is one of the Legislature’s most conservative Democrats. He opposed the "one-handgun-a-month" bill that took effect in January.

 

Since 2007, New Jersey has issued 1,595 new and renewed handgun carry permits, according to State Police spokesman Julian Castellanos. Those figures do not include permits for armored car employees and retired police officers.

 

Van Drew said he based his bill (S2264) loosely on laws in nearby states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

 

Pennsylvania — which has a population of 12.6 million to New Jersey’s 8.7 million and has more relaxed handgun carry laws — issued 165,857 permits last year at $26 each. Pennsylvania’s gun permits are good for five years, while New Jersey’s expire after two.

 

"It’s relatively safe to say there are more than 500,000 active firearm carry permits in Pennsylvania," said trooper Paul Anderson, that state’s supervisor of the firearms administrative section.

 

Connecticut, which has 3.5 million residents and charges a $70 fee for permits, issued 11,948 new carry permits last year and renewed 21,331. Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said the state took in $750,000 in the first five months of 2009 — the latest data available.

 

Van Drew said the $500 annual fee — up from $20 every two years — would mean "tens of millions" of dollars in new state revenue. To reach the $10 million mark, 20,000 people would have to shell out the $500.

 

Van Drew also said changing the law could head off possible lawsuits challenging its constitutionality, based on the Supreme Court striking down handgun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

 

"There are folks on both sides of this issue and both aren’t going to be happy with me. But I’m trying to strike a thoughtful medium," he said.

 

Indeed, the bill does not please either side.

 

"The $500 fee is outrageous. The proficiency requirements are excessive," said Scott Bach, president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. "The idea that a hefty price tag should be attached to a constitutional right is outrageous."

 

Gun control activists also slammed the bill.

 

"Senator Van Drew, for whatever reason, is kowtowing to the pro-gun forces of darkness who want to turn this country into an armed society," said Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ. "It’s very simple: Do we want to be standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone in a church or anywhere else not knowing whether that person is legally carrying a handgun?"

 

Van Drew admits getting his bill passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature is a "long shot."

 

"I would ask people not to think with emotion but just to think rationally and methodically about this," he said.

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Title: S2264 Revises qualifications and requirements for permits to carry a handgun.

 

STATEMENT

 

 

 

This bill revises the law governing the issuing of permits to carry handguns in the State of New Jersey.

 

Under the provisions of this bill, an applicant for a permit to carry would no longer have to establish the court standard “justifiable need,” but rather simply show that they are “qualified” to carry. An applicant is deemed qualified under the bill if: (1) a criminal history record background check reveals no disqualifying information; (2) the applicant successfully completes a course of instruction in the safe use, maintenance and storage of firearms which is approved by the Police Training Commission; (3) the applicant demonstrates proficiency in the use of, and qualifies with, a firearm of the type to be carried; and (4) the applicant successfully completes a course in the lawful use of force and the justifiable use of a firearm which is approved by the superintendent. The bill specifies that the applicant is responsible for all the costs involved in meeting these requirements and qualifications.

 

An applicant for a permit renewal must meet the same requirements and qualifications, with one exception. Applicants for renewal must undergo psychological testing on a biennial rather than annual basis.

 

The annual fee for the permit is $500. The permit fees are to be allocated as follows: $50 to the law enforcement agency that processes the application; $50 to the county clerk of the county that issues the permit; and $400 to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund.

 

 

Source: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S2500/2264_I1.HTM

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Van Drew said the $500 annual fee — up from $20 every two years — would mean "tens of millions" of dollars in new state revenue. To reach the $10 million mark, 20,000 people would have to shell out the $500.

 

$500? So like a lot of other things you can do something if you have enough money like be mayor of NYC or a NJ Senator or Governor. I have no problem with the state charging me to register my car, make me pay for a driver's license, etc etc all of which are money makers for the state but this $500 goes no where with me. How about a $500 fee to practice your religion, speak freely, or make the government get a search warrant to search you home?

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Van Drew said the $500 annual fee — up from $20 every two years — would mean "tens of millions" of dollars in new state revenue. To reach the $10 million mark, 20,000 people would have to shell out the $500.

 

$500? So like a lot of other things you can do something if you have enough money like be mayor of NYC or a NJ Senator or Governor. I have no problem with the state charging me to register my car, make me pay for a driver's license, etc etc all of which are money amkers for the state but this $500 goes no where with me. How about a $500 fee to practice your religion, speak freely, or make the government get a search warrant to search you home?

 

Agreed....500 is just too steep.

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It is certainly a step in the right direction.

 

"Do we want to be standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone in a church or anywhere else not knowing whether that person is legally carrying a handgun?" Isn't this the same situation you're in if you venture out of NJ into most any other state in our nation?

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but! I'd rather be fighting in court about the cost than the ability to even carry... Just my "cup half full" thought process for a moment.

 

I totally agree with this I think its better to have the topic on the table then nothing going on, and it would definitely get lowered at some point in the process.

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first step? yes

 

but it definitely seems like they're just doing this to avoid the lawsuits regarding the 2A.

 

if this law passes then NJ can say "we're a shall issue" state

but for $500/yr

 

and like many have said the price is outrageous especially in our economy...

 

i feel like it's more of a side-step rather than a step forward...

 

side-stepping to avoid any possible lawsuits

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I just look at it as one less handgun that I can buy. I personally would be okay with $500 a year, as long as it's "shall issue". I will not put a price limit on my family's and my own safety. That to me is better than what we have right now. If and when it passes, we can argue about the price later.

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I have some pretty big problems with the bill.

1. $500 annual fee and renewal.

2. Semi-annual qualification.

3. Judges can still put restrictions on the back.

4. Judge can still deny based on "good character."

5. Applicant is responsible for "all costs" related to the qualification requirements with no indication of what those costs might be.

6. ...and a psych test every two years!?!

 

Add all that up and you are talking about, in the neighborhood of $1,000 per year in taxes and fees to exercise your right to bear arms for self-defense.

 

Even though I'm underwhelmed with the bill, it does indicated without a doubt that the anti-gun element in the Legislature knows that "justifiable need" is unconstitutional and is trying to get as much as they can before it falls.

 

I view this as our opponent offering a draw because he knows he is about to be checkmated. My vote is to wait it out. If they want to make a change legislatively, S69/A1384 is there and has been waiting for 12 years. All they have to do is pass it and everything is fixed properly. If you want to make a difference, call the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee in each house and tell them to release S69/A1384 instead of this one because it clearly is the superior bill.

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Inneresting its a Southern NJ Dem, close to election time :unsure: And you can see from the panty-wetting response from Cryin' Miller what the Northern NJ Libs and anti-gun people will be saying about any and all efforts to make NJ a legal CCW state. But I also got an email this AM from ANJRPC asking if I was denied an NJ carry permit recently. So wheels are turning, I just hope NJ can be made a shall issue state before the political pendulum swings back. I support the NJ2AS society and ANJRPC in these efforts, even if CCW is not my bag as of now, being organized and effective voices to pressure the politicians to do the right thing is more important.

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I have been thinking about applying. Why? With the recent Supremem Court decisions do we need a group of folks that have been denied to get this in front of the courts. I'm willing to spend the time and money now to get this later.

 

$500.00 is not a fee its extortion!

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How typical of New Jersey. Whet the State's appetite with an exhorbitant $500 incentive each year. And the person getting licensed will be paying other fees as one mentioned to be "compliant" in the State's eyes. One could wager the odds for a need to carry and be better moved to plunk down $350 each year for a $500,000 life insurance policy. At least your loved ones would benefit should tragedy befall you.

 

Others are right; there already have been better bills proposed waiting in the wings. Dust them off and re-introduce them.

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I have some pretty big problems with the bill.

1. $500 annual fee and renewal.

2. Semi-annual qualification.

3. Judges can still put restrictions on the back.

4. Judge can still deny based on "good character."

5. Applicant is responsible for "all costs" related to the qualification requirements with no indication of what those costs might be.

6. ...and a psych test every two years!?!

 

Add all that up and you are talking about, in the neighborhood of $1,000 per year in taxes and fees to exercise your right to bear arms for self-defense.

 

Even though I'm underwhelmed with the bill, it does indicated without a doubt that the anti-gun element in the Legislature knows that "justifiable need" is unconstitutional and is trying to get as much as they can before it falls.

 

I view this as our opponent offering a draw because he knows he is about to be checkmated. My vote is to wait it out. If they want to make a change legislatively, S69/A1384 is there and has been waiting for 12 years. All they have to do is pass it and everything is fixed properly. If you want to make a difference, call the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee in each house and tell them to release S69/A1384 instead of this one because it clearly is the superior bill.

well put, I agree

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completes a course of instruction in the safe use, maintenance and storage of firearms

 

Does this opens the door for unwarranted searches to check for compliance? Certainly they would be able to deny you or revoke the permit if you demonstrated unsafe use. Now they are just coming in to check to see if you've maintained them and stored them properly. Sign up and abrogate your 4th amendment rights.

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I second most things said on this thread - basically everything Smity said

$500 - so outrageous that it's definitely discrimination. they're just trying to avoid lawsuits, which I hope will happen anyway. Cryin' Bryan's response is ridiculous - that's what happens in America - criminals don't know who is armed and if you're a law abiding citizen "standing in line at a grocery store, at a movie theater, sitting next to someone in a church or anywhere" why would you be concerned if someone next to you is legally carrying a gun?

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Does this opens the door for unwarranted searches to check for compliance? Certainly they would be able to deny you or revoke the permit if you demonstrated unsafe use. Now they are just coming in to check to see if you've maintained them and stored them properly. Sign up and abrogate your 4th amendment rights.

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

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Every time you buy something at cabela's, go to the range, eat out, you spend $20 here and there. Hell, I've spent $500 this year just on ammo.. Next thing you know, you're at $500. I'm already thinking about what I can cut out from my expenses if this passes and I get a chance to finally carry.

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The right to keep and bear arms is a constitutional right. While one shouldn't need to have a permit for a right, I understand the need to have identification so LE can identify the law-abiding people who carry.

 

With that being said, I would refuse to pay $500 a year-- not due to financial constraints, but because it is an INSULT to suggest that I must pay for anything more than the administrative costs to process the application. I'd rather go unarmed.

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Van Drew said the $500 annual fee — up from $20 every two years — would mean "tens of millions" of dollars in new state revenue. To reach the $10 million mark, 20,000 people would have to shell out the $500.

 

20,000 people would have to pay that amount to reach tens of millions in revenue , ummm not really sure if that many people would be willing to pony up that much money annually !!

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