New Jersey Lawmakers Introduce Bill that would Allow Elected Officials to Carry Guns

By Ron Benvenisti. Two New Jersey politicians, Republican and Democrat, want elected officials in New Jersey to be able to carry a gun.

Sen. Ed Durr (R-Gloucester) proposed a bill that would ease New Jersey’s strict firearms law so that elected officials would be allowed to carry handguns if they demonstrate at least eight hours of safety training.

This bill provides that an elected official of this State will be issued permits to carry handguns under certain circumstances.

Under current law, in order to be granted a permit to carry a handgun, an applicant is required to demonstrate “justifiable need.”

Justifiable need is defined in State regulations, at N.J.A.C.13:54-2.4, as, “the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.”

This bill exempts elected officials from the “justifiable need” requirement. Under the bill’s provisions, the permit to carry will be issued as long as the applicant is not subject to any disabilities set forth in current law and presents evidence of successful completion of at least eight hours of firearm safety training.

Under the bill, acceptable evidence of training includes:

(1)   documentation of law enforcement or military service;

(2)   a certificate indicating satisfactory completion of a National Rifle Association firearms course;

(3)   a certificate that the applicant is a certified National Rifle Association Firearms Instructor;

(4)   a New Jersey hunting license or New Jersey Hunter’s Education Course card;

(5)   a copy of a firearms or hunting license or permit from any other jurisdiction that requires the holder to successfully complete a substantially equivalent firearms safety class or course; or

(6)   any other documentation, certificate, or certification deemed substantially equivalent by the superintendent.

The bill defines “elected official” to mean any person holding the office of United States Senator or member of the United States House of Representatives elected from this State, or any person holding a State or local government office which, under the State Constitution or by law, is filled by the registered voters of a jurisdiction at an election, including a person appointed, selected, or otherwise designated to fill a vacancy in such office.

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) is sponsoring a bill which would require that the home addresses of elected officials and candidates for office be redacted from public documents and not disclosed under the state’s public records law. This law would make harassment or “doxing” of elected officials a crime in New Jersey.

The Greenwald bill is like a 2020 law, Bill A6171 AcaSca (2R), sponsored by Majority Conference Leader Annette Quijano that creates the Office of Information Privacy, which requires, upon request, redaction, and nondisclosure of home address of judicial officers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and immediate family members thereof residing in same household.

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  1. And us, the “little” people? What are we supposed to do? Just allow ourselves to be attacked, and wait for tbe police? In fact, the citizens should be allowed to carry before elected officials. This is one of the most blatant and disgusting instances of politicians abusing their power and acting like they’re better than We The People. This is abhorrent.

  2. To ‘Disgusted’,
    sorry to bother. Have you applied yet for a gun license? How about a carry permit?
    Unless you have been rejected, then why kvetch. I know it is much easier than going down to the police station, but maybe then you can speak up.
    (Although on a lighter note, I do know someone tried to get into the police academy 16 times and was rejected, and is still trying his luck….;)

    • Disgusted is 100% correct. No one needs to apply for a carry permit in New Jersey to know with perfect certainty that it will be denied EVERY SINGLE TIME, unless you can prove an extraordinary level of danger in your occupation. Even that category is shrinking because there are fewer and fewer businesses handling large amounts of cash.

      The proposed bill is an outrage, showing that we are mere serfs and our masters (the politicians) make special rules for themselves.

  3. Our elected officials frivolous disregard for the safety and well being of their own constituents is so blatant it’s sickening. The state legislature and governor have the dubious honor of having the most restrictive gun laws in the country but they deem these very laws they instituted as unbecoming for them.
    Curious to see whether or not the governor will have the moral decency to veto this bill and denounce its sponsors.

  4. What makes them any more qualified or in need than any other average citizen? They are not. They’re to do the work of the citizen. “Rules for me but not for Thee…” I need to move out of this state and fast.

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