The New Jersey Senate has voted to approve the Concealed Carry Restriction bill, just two months after the controversial bill was first introduced, sending it to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s desk for his signature.
The bill, which was approved by a 21-16 vote will almost certainly be challenged in court.
All Republicans, along with one Democrat, were opposed. Two Democrats were absent.
Asked by TLS last month whether he thought the bill would stand up in court, New Jersey Governor Murphy said he was confident the revised bill would stand up to any potential legal challenges.
“I hope so. I normally wouldn’t talk about bills that are not on our desk, but this one is important to all of us,” he said.
“We are very concerned about the Supreme Court’s steps initially, and then also in staying New York’s laws,” Murphy continued.
“G-d willing this will be crafted in a way that will stand up, because G-d knows we need it,” he added.
Prior to the vote, several Republican Senators spoke out against the bill, but the tone was a lot more civil than when the Assembly debated, and ultimately passed, the bill nearly a month ago.
An approved amendment now allows retired police officers to renew their concealed carry permits every two years, instead of every 12 months.
The four major police unions in the state have now publicly endorsed the new bill.
The bill was introduced following the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case and therefore removes from current law the justifiable need standard, which was the standard an individual is required to meet to hold a permit to carry a handgun in New Jersey.
Also included in the new bill is an increase in the amount gun holders will have to pay for their new licenses, with the amount for a concealed carry permit applications will jump from $2 to $25. The bill also increases the fee to obtain a firearm purchaser identification card (FPIC) from $5 to $50.
The bill also establishes that a person can be charged with a third degree crime for carrying any firearm, or a crime of the second degree to possess a destructive device, in dozens of locations, including any state owned property, polling booths, public gatherings, educational facilities, school buses, camps, child care centers, parks, libraries, museums, bars and restaurants, performance halls and all health care facilities.
Also included in the sensitive areas where guns will be banned is all private property, including but not limited to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, institutional, or undeveloped property, unless the owner has provided express consent or has posted a sign indicating that it is permissible to carry on the premises a concealed handgun with a valid and lawfully issued permit to carry.
An earlier version of the bill, sought to also ban firearms in houses of worship, as reported exclusively by TLS, but was dropped from the current version of the bill.