Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday signed 10 bills that strengthen New Jersey’s gun control laws and upgrade penalties for those who commit gun crimes or violate trafficking laws.
The measures were all introduced after the Dec. 14, 2012, mass shooting of 20 children and six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
A-3687 disqualifies people named on the federal Terrorist Watch list from obtaining a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun.
• A-3717 requires sending mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
• A-3788 codifies regulations exempting firearms ownership and purchase records from New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act.
• A-3796 provides a 180-day window for people to dispose of unlawfully possessed firearms.
• S-1279 upgrades the penalty for unlawfully transferring a firearm to an underage person to a second-degree crime from a third-degree crime.
• S-2430 declares violence to be a public health crisis and establishing a “Study Commission on Violence.”
• S-2468 authorizes law enforcement to seize automobiles from those convicted of firearms violations.
• S-2719, the “Anti-Gun Trafficking Act of 2013,” makes a second-degree crime of illegally transferring or selling firearms from out of state.
• S-2720 clarifies that information concerning the total number of firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun issued in a municipality are public records.
• S-2804 upgrades the unlawful possession of certain firearms to a first-degree crime.
Christie at the same time deferred action on five other bills: A-3797, requiring New Jersey enforcement agencies to report information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases; A-3583, establishing a school security task force; A-3659, banning the sale or ownership of .50-caliber rifles; S-2723, encoding firearm purchase permits on a driver’s license or a photo ID card, creating a system for instant background checks and requiring gun buyers to show they completed a safety training course; and S-2715, requiring the state Department of Education to prepare and distribute pamphlets on how parents can limit a child’s exposure to media violence.
Christie vetoed a bill, A-3668, that would have barred the state pension system from investing in companies that manufacture or sell firearms.