Contact Us
Make My Homepage

NJ senator looking to restart ‘smart gun’ efforts in New Jersey

Christie Aide David Wildstein Returns To Court In Bridgegate Scandal
Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg heads to Washington for the day Thursday, waiting to kick-start a 15-year quest to require personalized “smart guns” on the shelves of New Jersey gun retailers.

Such guns would have technology keeping them from being fired by anyone other than the registered owner or, as envisioned in the case of police officers, the officers and their partners. Current New Jersey law requires them to be exclusively sold in New Jersey once they’re viable – which may be unintentionally undercutting their path to the marketplace.

Weinberg was invited by the head of CeaseFire Washington state to attend Thursday’s event in the nation’s capital, featuring a former United States drug czar and the results of a survey on the safety concerns of 400 law enforcement professionals.

“They’re wanting to move toward the child-proof handgun technology, so we’ll hear the results of that survey. We have a panel. Some people who are involved in the research and development will also be there,” Weinberg said.

Weinberg said she doesn’t yet know the results of the survey.

“From what I’ve heard, there is a very positive feeling, once the technology is developed and tested. But it can’t be if the NRA is so fearful of moving ahead with this,” Weinberg said.

Officially, the National Rifle Association doesn’t oppose the development of personalized firearms, though it’s often skeptical of such efforts. It also opposes laws that prohibit people from buying or possessing guns that don’t possess such technology.

NJ starts August with building heat, humidity, and storm chances

That’s currently the law in New Jersey, adopted in 2002. Weinberg supports loosening the law to require that retailers sell such guns, once the technology is viable, alongside traditional guns – but not exclusively.

Gov. Chris Christie has twice vetoed bills that would have incorporated that change.

He said in a 2016 veto the proposal would have “replaced one unnecessary mandate with another unjustified restriction on firearms sales” as part of “the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership and sales.”

Over the course of nearly eight years as governor, Christie has kept at least nine gun-related bills from becoming law through vetoes.

Weinberg hopes they become law next year, if Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy is elected governor. He has pledged to sign all the gun bills Christie has rejected. Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno doesn’t support additional gun laws in a state with among the strictest laws already.

“I’ve already told Ambassador Murphy — hopefully he will be the governor — I have at least 20 bills ready the day he walks in that have all been vetoed by Gov. Christie,” Weinberg said.

Organizers of Thursday’s conference say an average of five police officers a year nationally are killed when their guns are grabbed by suspects. They say the personalization technology could keep guns from firing unless they’re handled by officers or their partners.

New Jersey: Decoded cuts through the cruft and gets to what matters in New Jersey news and politics. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at

Sign up for the Newsletter

Get the best of delivered to your inbox every day.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.