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“One Gun a Month” Bill Stalls in Senate

Illegal firearms seized by police from a home in Jersey City. Photo taken Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by Reena Sibayan (Jersey Journal).

Illegal firearms seized by police officers from a home in Jersey City. Photo taken Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by Reena Sibayan (the Jersey Journal).

Senator Cunningham’s bill, S1774, which prohibits an individual from purchasing more than one handgun within a 30-day period, stalled in the Senate. The bill received only 20 votes, just shy of the 21 needed for passage. It was strongly opposed by gun-rights advocates like the NRA and the New Jersey Association of Firearm Retailers, as well as by Senate Republicans. Because the bill was pulled from consideration though, Senator Cunningham preserved the possibility of having another vote on the bill later this year.

If the Senate passes S1774, New Jersey would become the fourth state to put such a limit on handgun purchases, joining Virginia, Maryland, and California. The Senator and other supporters believe that the bill, along with extensive background checks and registration rules, will help assure that New Jersey residents remain safe from crime caused by illegal arms trafficking. As Senator Codey states, “This is a common sense measure to put a stop to in-state ‘straw’ purchases of large numbers of handguns that are then sold illegally and used by criminals and gang members.”

By passing this bill, supporters also hope to influence neighboring states to pass similar bills which, in turn, will help to prevent inter-state arms trafficking. The limits imposed by the bill do not apply to law enforcement officers or licensed gun collectors.

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