By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Here’s a launch eve nugget for ya’ll, Save Jerseyans, all despite his earlier protestation that the legislature tied his hands:
On Monday night, Governor Chris Christie directed the New Jersey Attorney General to file a regulatory change (click here to see it) expediting firearm application processing for victims of domestic violence, violent crimes, and “those who have a demonstrable threat against them.”
“I have always said that when there are sensible changes to improve our laws and the fair administration of justice, I will take action, and that is what I am doing today,” Christie explained in an accompanying press release. “The Constitution grants and our courts have affirmed the individual right to bear arms as a fundamental right, and that is all the more important for those who are victims of violence or under threat. This commonsense step will protect the rights of victims and people at risk of violent acts by giving them priority, while ensuring the core protections of the permitting process remain fully in effect.”
The Governor specifically cited the case of Carol Bowne, murdered by her ex-boyfriend earlier in June despite the existence of an active restraining order while she was waiting to obtain a gun permit, as a major motivation for his action; I pitched the expedited permit idea shortly thereafter and I’m stoked to see the Governor act on it.
Now? An application must reviewed and processed within 14 days upon a demonstration…
That the applicant has been the victim of violence or threatened with violence or a deadly weapon and there is a substantial likelihood of another such incident in the foreseeable future.”
“The applicant is living under a demonstrable threat, vis-à-vis court-ordered protection in the form of a restraining order or some other condition imposed by the court, restraining another person from contact with the applicant where there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant will be the victim of violence or threatened with a deadly weapon in the foreseeable future.”
Either circumstance qualifies as “justifiable need” and a carry permit would be issued thereafter within the 14-day window. So it’s not “shall issue,” folks, but it’s an expansion of the “justifiable need” standard in our “may issue” state where permitting is de facto extremely restricted.
Tonight’s news follows two high-profile pardons issued by the Governor for Graves Act-related violations and a mounting push by Second Amendment activists to recall Senate President Steve Sweeney for flip-flopping on his support of gun rights.
Christie also established a study commission via executive order No. 180 designed to recommend additional changes to the licensing process. Here’s hoping this is just the beginning…