Says Measure is in Clear Violation of New Jersey’s Right to Decide for Itself on Gun Regulation within its Borders
TRENTON – State Senator Loretta Weinberg earlier this week introduced a legislative resolution condemning the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011,” saying that the federal proposal would undermine New Jersey’s gun control laws and states’ traditional role in deciding the best gun control strategies for each individual state.
“Historically, states have been given the right of self-determination when it comes to gun control,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “Regardless of how you feel about New Jersey’s gun control laws, the federal legislation which was recently passed by the House would set a terrible precedent, and opens the door for Second Amendment activists elsewhere in the country to override New Jersey’s own laws. Hopefully, Governor Christie and our Congressional leaders will stand up for our State and oppose this overreaching federal bill.”
Senator Weinberg’s resolution, SR-132, would express the State Senate’s opposition to H.R. 822, known as the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.” The federal proposal, which was approved by a vote of 272-154 on November 16, would allow individuals with a permit to carry a concealed weapon in one state the ability to carry a concealed weapon in every other state that allows people to carry concealed weapons, without having to reapply for a permit in each state. The end result would be that individuals with a permit to carry from a more lax gun control state would have unchecked ability to carry a concealed weapon in New Jersey, where they may not even qualify for a permit.
Currently, only Illinois and the District of Columbia prohibit individuals from carrying a concealed weapon.
Senator Weinberg noted that only seven Republicans voted against the legislation in the House – where it had large support from the National Rifle Association – despite the fact that Republicans tend to favor states’ rights over federal regulation.
“I find it a bit ironic that the move to trample states’ rights to regulate firearms is coming from Republicans who are all too eager to demand states’ rights on such things as health care, abortion and defining marriage as between a man and a woman,” said Senator Weinberg. “While our Constitution guarantees people a right to bear arms, the decision was made to allow states to regulate guns, in order to allow them to develop strategies that meet the individual states’ demographic, economic and lifestyle needs. What works for Florida or Texas may not work for New Jersey and vice versa, and gun control should be the sole provision of the individual states, not the federal government.”
If approved, duly-authenticated copies of the resolution would be sent to leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the Governor and New Jersey’s Congressional delegation.