Democrats seek to block Christie's gun regulation change

Some NJ lawmakers want to block a change to the state's gun laws that Gov. Christie is proposing.

Some NJ lawmakers want to block a change to the state's gun laws that Gov. Christie is proposing. (4/25/16)

TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers have announced an effort to block Gov. Chris Christie's change to state regulations that would make it easier to get a gun permit.

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, both Democrats, said Monday they are introducing a measure to halt the Republican governor's recently announced changes.

Under the current laws, an applicant applying for a gun carry permit must prove they face a “specific” threat. Gov. Christie’s proposal would change the wording of the law to allow people to qualify if they show a "serious" threat. This would allow the applicant to receive a gun carry permit for more generalized concerns.

Greenwald and Weinberg say the expansion could result in too many residents qualifying for a permit to carry a firearm, and going beyond the intent lawmakers established under current law.

“It is worded so vaguely that virtually anyone will be able to come up with a reason to carry a gun in public,” says Greenwald.

Christie's change came in reaction to a domestic violence case in Burlington County where a woman who had applied for a gun permit was killed before she was able to get access to a firearm.

The governor says that he wants to help protect victims, but Weinberg says that the law goes too far.

“What happened in this case is not an excuse for expanding regulations and changing the intent of the law,” she says.

Democrats do say that they are open to investigating the time limits to pass gun permits through more quickly for those applicants facing a “specific” threat.

The governor's office declined to comment on the Democrats' resolution.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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