Today, the New Jersey Senate approved major portions of a package of gun safety bills to overhaul the state’s firearms permitting process by creating a modern, electronic system for universal background checks that will include mental health records and cover private transactions and ammunition sales, among other actions to prevent gun violence.

“This is a far-reaching plan to reduce gun violence that will serve as a national model for gun safety,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, the plan’s lead sponsor. “We are accomplishing here in New Jersey what couldn’t get done in Washington.”

The legislation also requires a permit for all ammunition purchases and mandate safety training for a gun license. The new system will have information on permits for handguns and hunting rifles encoded on the buyer’s driver’s license or a state-issued “smartcard.” The electronic process will allow for instant background checks and real-time reporting, immediately identifying those who aren’t allowed to purchase firearms and giving law enforcement the ability to instantly revoke permits from those who become disqualified.

“We have to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them and we have to crack down on illegal firearms,” said Senator Donald Norcross, one of the lead sponsors of the gun safety plan. “These bills will help bring more safety and security to the streets of our cities, schools, businesses and places of worship.”