A proposal to swap out New Jersey’s long-dormant smart gun law and replace it with one requiring dealers to carry at least one such gun in stock passed the legislature last week.
Introduced in January by state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg – who designed the state’s current divisive smart gun mandate – the proposal requires dealers to carry at least one model of smart gun when they become available rather than sell them exclusively. Filed as S101, the measure passed the Assembly 49-23 and the Senate 24-12 with Democrats, who control both chambers, leading the charge. It now heads to Gov. Phil Murphy.
The bill scraps most of the state’s 2002 smart gun law which has has been on the books for nearly two decades and replaces it with a requirement that the state Attorney General continue to report to the governor and legislature every six months on the commercial availability of the devices in the country. Once the AG approves a production model, every firearms wholesaler and retailer in the state would be obligated to carry at least one example for sale in their inventory within 60 days and have it on display in their salesroom, with visible signage referencing its features.
Similar legislation, developed in collaboration with national gun control groups like Giffords, was vetoed in 2016 by Republican Gov. Chris Christie who said it, “would have also replaced one unnecessary mandate with another unjustified restriction on firearms sales, this time targeting firearms retailers.”