Gun Law News Round-Up, 3/13
It’s no secret that a Republican administration means a great deal of influence for the NRA and a mobilization of efforts to weaken gun regulation – and this administration has wasted no time in launching its ambitious agenda to. Some highlights:
- House Bill 38 and Senate Bill 446, both introduced in January and currently in committee awaiting a vote, would allow concealed carry reciprocity – meaning that anyone who possesses a concealed carry permit on one state, would be able to carry a concealed weapon in any other state. For example, someone who has a concealed carry permit from Utah, where you can apply for a permit through the mail without even being a resident, could legally carry a concealed weapon in NJ, where we currently have some of the toughest gun regulations in the U.S. Tom MacArthur, Congressman from NJ District 3, is a co-sponsor of the house bill. Moms Demand Action is currently focused on phone banking to states where Senators are undecided, as well as to women in Missouri who have expressed interest in MOMS, and to registered Democrats to have them get the word out to ask their senators to vote NO. To get involved, go to www.Everytown.org to get information on Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
- In February, the House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill. The measure being blocked from implementation would have required the Social Security Administration to send records of some beneficiaries with severe mental disabilities to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. About 75,000 people found mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs would have been affected. The NRA had pushed for the repeal, and Republicans argued it infringed upon Second Amendment rights by denying due process. The ACLU actually supported the measure, expressing concern that “it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent.” Among the concerns of those who oppose the overturn is the fact that at the same time, the GOP is working to reduce access to mental health care.
- There is evidence, though, that gun sense has not gone out the window. Republican State Sen. Anitere Flores has declared she will not support most of the gun bills up for debate in the Florida Senate that are designed to weaken the state’s gun laws. Earlier, in November, several states elected gun sense champions. New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, who repeatedly voted against expanded background checks, lost her Senate seat. Gun Sense champion Maggie Hassan was elected; gun safety ballot measures prevailed in Nevada, Washington state and California; gun sense voters supported elected officials who will stand up to the gun lobby and take action to protect New Mexico families and communities from gun violence. In Kansas, State Representative Janice Pauls, who was backed by the gun lobby, was defeated and gun sense candidates were elected to the state legislature.
- Here in New Jersey, in January, Governor Chris Christie has signed the domestic violence bill that will help law enforcement remove firearms owned by abusers upon conviction. The bill will now become law and help to protect all victims of domestic violence. As far as the future of gun control here in New Jersey – state lawmakers have indicated that if concealed carry reciprocity passes at the federal level, the state legislature will take it to the courts to maintain our state laws, and all of the Democratic gubernatorial primary candidates have expressed support for strong gun regulation.
To find out how to get involved with advocating for gun sense here in NJ, go to www.momsdemandaction.org, our contact STAND CNJ member Felice Ockun (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is the the Middlesex County Ambassador for the NJ Chapter of Moms Demand Action.