NJ Senate passes bill focused on making smart guns prevalent

The state Senate passed a bill that could make guns able to be fired only by authorized users more prevalent in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Senate passes a bill focused on making smart guns prevalent in the state.

The New Jersey Senate passes a bill focused on making smart guns prevalent in the state. (12/7/15)

TRENTON - The state Senate passed a bill that could make guns able to be fired only by authorized users more prevalent in New Jersey.

The Senate voted 22-15 in favor of a bill that requires firearms retailers to sell personalized handguns, also known as smart guns, in the same manner as other handguns.

The legislation would repeal parts of an older law that lawmakers say resulted in fewer personalized handguns being sold in New Jersey.

Opponents say the government shouldn't mandate what retailers sell.

However, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, disagrees with their criticism.

“We compel other retailers to do things,” she says. “We compel pharmacies to carry certain medications and make them available, we compel health insurance companies to sell certain kinds of products … This is not some kind of unconstitutional new ground we're breaking here.”

Legislators say that the bill could result in less gun violence if firearms can be limited to only authorized users.

The bill now goes to the New Jersey Assembly.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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