TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers have announced an effort to block Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s change to state regulations to make it easier to get a permit to carry a firearm.
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.
The change Christie announced earlier this month would expand the “justifiable need” standard required under the state’s strict gun laws.
Christie’s change came after recommendations from a panel he created to look into the state’s gun laws. Christie’s new regulation adds “serious threats” to the list of circumstances that could show danger to a permit applicant’s life.
Greenwald and Weinberg say the expansion of regulations could result in too many residents qualifying for a permit to carry a firearm and going beyond the intent lawmakers established under current law.
“They would allow every cab driver, pizza delivery driver and anyone else living or working in a high-crime neighborhood to qualify for a firearm carry permit,” Weinberg said.
The panel was created after Berlin resident Carol Bowne, whose firearm permit application was delayed beyond the statutory limit, was fatally stabbed by an ex-boyfriend who later killed himself.
Christie earlier this month also announced updated guidelines to law enforcement, which issues gun permits, directing the attorney general to instruct police departments to follow the state’s 30-day deadline for processing, but Greenwald and Weinberg did not take issue with this guideline.
The lawmakers say they want to pursue separate legislation to address how long permit processing is taking in some towns.
Christie created the panel by executive order in June before launching his presidential campaign, which he later quit after a poor finish in New Hampshire.
His office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.