The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill which would require houses of worship, and other public venues, to create a plan to deal with potential mass shootings, and to share those plans with local police departments.
The bill, which was sponsored in the Assembly by Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), passed unanimously and now must be signed by Governor Phil Murphy.
The Senate approved the bill unanimously as well, during a session in June.
According to the bill’s text, “all sports and entertainment facilities, movie theaters, and places of worship in the State shall annually prepare and maintain an emergency operations plan in coordination with the appropriate local fire, law enforcement, and emergency response agencies.”
In addition, the bill says a “copy of the plan shall be filed each year with the municipal emergency management coordinator and chief law enforcement officer who serves the municipality in which the sports and entertainment facility, movie theater or place of worship is situated.”
The bill goes on to define a place of worship as “a building capable of seating more than 500 people, including but not limited to a church, mosque, or synagogue, used primarily as a place of public or private worship on a permanent basis by a recognized and established religious sect or denomination registered as a not-for-profit organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. s.501 (c) (3).”
Ironically, one idea which can not be used, is the use of armed members in the Shul itself, according to a recently introduced bill, first reported by TLS.
The bill will take effect 7 months after Governor signs it.