Giffords Applauds New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee for Approving Package of Gun Safety Bills

February 28, 2018 — Today, Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded New Jersey lawmakers for their swift action on a new gun violence prevention package. The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee approved bills that would help keep New Jersey among the states with the strongest gun laws to better protect New Jersey families and communities.

“The problem of gun violence continues to impact the lives of Garden State families and communities,” said Nico Bocour, State Legislative Director of Giffords. “State leaders know that more can be done to help New Jersey continue to have the strong laws needed to better prevent gun violence. We applaud Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assemblyman McKeon, and leaders in the Legislature for introducing this gun safety package. It contains a number of innovative measures that can solve this crisis, including legislation that would help keep guns out of the hands of a person who poses an extreme risk of danger, and bills that New Jersey residents have long been calling for that will closing the long gun loophole and limit magazine capacity. New Jersey lawmakers are showing the rest of the country what courage looks like.”

“Five years ago I met with the families of Sandy Hook after tragedy struck their community. I spearheaded a 21 bill package aimed at making sure that no family ever felt this kind of misery again,” said Majority Leader Louis Greenwald. “Today we took steps towards making that dream a reality. Our six bill package that passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee will make New Jersey families safer.”

“We’ve seen too many ‘what ifs’ when it comes to these mass shootings, often centered around the question of why didn’t somebody do something to take guns away from someone who is mentally unstable,” said Assemblyman John McKeon. “This bill makes it easier to accomplish that goal and, ultimately, protect our communities and our children. The status quo doesn’t work. We need to take new approaches that allow authorities a real chance to keep guns away from mentally unstable individuals who pose a threat to us all.”

The full list of bill in the package passed by the Assembly today is:

  • Establishing an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO): A 1217 would establish a judicial process to acquire an order of protection so that an individual in crisis would be temporarily prohibited from firearm possession. New Jersey joins other states that have introduced ERPO bills backed by Giffords. Last year, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brownsigned an ERPO bill into law after members of the Giffords Oregon Coalition testified on behalf of the bill and urged Oregon leaders to pass it.

  • Closing Background Check Loopholes: A 2757 would require private sales of firearms to be processed through a dealer. There is no gap more glaring in our gun laws than the federal background checks law, which allows felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill to purchase firearms at gun shows and online without undergoing a background check. In states that require background checks for all handgun sales 47% fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, there are 47% fewer firearm suicides, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot to death by handguns.

  • A 2761: This bill would reduce magazine capacity to 10 rounds.

  • A 2758: This bill would codify the requirements to meet the justifiable need standard for CCW applications.

  • A 2759: This bill would prohibit possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor.

  • A 1181: This bill would create a non-standard risk-based firearm removal law based on a risk a person poses due to mental illness.