NJ lawmakers discuss gun control, casino bills

Lawmakers in Trenton were busy Monday discussing several new bills and the future of gaming in New Jersey.

An Assembly panel approved three new bills to strengthen gun regulations in the state. The three are designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

One requires courts to inform people that they cannot own a gun if they have been convicted of domestic violence. Another bars gun ownership from people convicted of carjacking, racketeering or being a gang member. The bill requires law enforcement officials to be alerted when a person wishing to buy a gun also seeks to get a mental health record expunged. These bills still have to be signed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Officials in Trenton also introduced a bill that would allow liquor license holders to also get an amusement game license. Currently, there is a ban on allowing restaurants that serve alcohol to also operate skill-based games. If this bill passes, it would allow such establishments as Dave and Busters to operate in New Jersey.

Several lawmakers also discussed the proposal to bring a casino to northern New Jersey. The idea would be to have three casinos, spread out over Hudson, Essex and Bergen counties. A portion of the proceeds would go to Atlantic City. In order for the casinos to become a reality, New Jersey's constitution would have to change. 

To get the North Jersey casino constitutional amendment on the ballot for this year, lawmakers must vote on it by August 3.

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