On June 13, 2018, six(6) gun reform bills passed by the New Jersey Legislature were signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

  1. The “Extreme Risk Protective Act” establishes a process and procedures to obtain an extreme risk protective order against persons who pose a significant danger to themselves or others by possessing or purchasing a firearm. (Sponsors: Senator Weinberg and Senator Codey)
  2. Defines what is meant by a “justifiable need” to carry a hand gun. (Sponsor: Senator Greenstein)
  3. Requires all dealers or sellers to complete a background check before the sale or transfer of any firearm. (Sponsor: Senator Greenstein)
  4. Authorizes law enforcement to seize a firearm in the possession of an individual that has been found by licensed healthcare professionals to pose a threat of serious harm to themselves or others. (Sponsors: Senator Gopal and Senator Cryan)
  5. Bans possession of armor-piercing ammunition for handguns.  (Sponsors: Senator Madden and Senator Greenstein)
  6. Prohibits firearm magazines from holding over 10 rounds of ammunition. (Sponsors: Senator Weinberg and Senator Gill)

“As the former Union County Sheriff, I understand the ever-present threat of gun violence in communities and schools across the nation,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union), who is also the author of separate legislation that would ban “ghost guns.” “New Jersey will now have stronger laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others. This is about saving lives by preventing tragic shootings.”

“My experience in the State Police has shown that the only people who should have possession of armor-piercing ammunition are law enforcement officers,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “There is no reason for a person to own ammunition with such destructive capabilities. We have to close every technical loophole that allows individuals and sellers to skirt life-saving, sensible gun regulations.”

“An important step in making our communities safer is to limit the size of firearm magazines,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “There is no reason for a civilian to have a 15-round magazine. Lives can be saved in the time it takes a shooter to reload.”

According to Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen), “Gun violence continues to spread across the nation and while New Jersey has always been at the forefront of sensible gun legislation, we can do more. Today we are ensuring that not only are weapons and ammunition that should not be in civilian hands will be properly regulated and restricted, but we also are providing needed legal mechanisms to get weapons out of the hands of people who may do harm to themselves and others.”

Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News. A practicing attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Ruggieri is also chairperson of Edison Township’s Planning Board. Additionally, she has served as a college professor, with nearly a decade of experience in teaching law and political science courses.