N.J. Moves to Let More Retired Cops Carry Handguns

Cardinale (second from left, front) with retired members of the FOP, PBA and RUPD on Feb. 6, 2017 (Photo Credit: SenateNJ.com)

Legislation sponsored by state Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39), which would allow retired law enforcement officials to obtain a handgun carry permit, advanced out of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Monday.

“We already allow many retired officers to carry firearms,” Senator Cardinale said in a statement obtained by Save Jersey. “This measure will give us an extra line of defense to protect the public against violence.”

S-1944 would expand the current list to include the following law enforcement officials referenced by Cardinale’s office: state park police, state transit police, campus police, special agents of the Division of Taxation, Human Services police officers, state conservation officers, full-time officers of the Burlington County Bridge Commission police, housing authority officers, juvenile corrections officers, parole officers, railway policemen and Palisades Interstate Park police officers.

At present, permits are available to a smaller list of retired law enforcement officers under the age of 75.

“We as a state have been stepping on people’s right to protect themselves for too long,” added Cardinale. “These individuals have already displayed the capability of carrying a firearm in the line of duty, and they can continue to protect the public and themselves after they are retired.”

The Senator has long championed this legislation but has received heat from pro-Second Amendment groups who pushed him to advocate for more expansive companion legislation that applied to the general public rather than only law enforcement officers.