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Governor set to sign 6 gun-control measures in New Jersey

Posted at 10:46 AM, Jun 13, 2018

New Jersey on Wednesday is set to become the latest state to enact measures to tighten its already strict gun laws.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy says he will sign the half-dozen bills that began advancing after the fatal high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February that left 17 people dead.

Murphy also mentioned the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in a tweet, saying "our hearts are heavy" on the two-year anniversary of the attack.

"I will sign into law some of the toughest gun laws in the nation in honor of all those lost to senseless gun violence," the first-term governor said.

New Jersey joins other states, including Florida and Vermont, enacting gun control measures since the Parkland shooting, which set off a series of rallies across the country aimed at reducing gun violence through tighter laws.

The legislation went through an emotional hourslong meeting that included moms who support tighter gun laws wearing red T-shirts that read Moms Demand Action, self-identified National Rifle Association members and even a former Indy Car racer who worried about his rights being eroded.

"I do fear in the next 50 to 100 years a tyrannical government," former racer PJ Chesson told lawmakers earlier this year, adding that he wants to keep his right to body-armor-piercing bullets and higher rounds.

While the legislation has earned the praise of gun control advocates, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, they have also merited scorn from gun rights advocates who say the measure won't increase safety.

The six measures to be signed will:

--Require the seizure of firearms when a mental health professional determines someone poses a threat.

--Allow for an extreme risk protective order if a court deems someone poses a significant danger to themselves or others. The temporary court order bars the subject from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition.

--Require background checks for private gun sales

--Lower the magazine capacity from 15 rounds to 10, with an exception for a popular .22-caliber rifle.

--Require residents to show a "justifiable need" to get a carry permit.

--Prohibit body-armor-penetrating ammunition.

Murphy, who succeeded term-limited Republican Chris Christie this year, campaigned on the promise to strengthen the state's laws. Current state law bans assault weapons, limits magazine clip sizes and requires permits to carry a concealed weapon.