TRENTON — New Jersey officials can now consider evidence of "serious threats" that are not directed specifically at a person when they consider applications for handgun carry permits.

Gov. Chris Christie announced the change Monday night. He said it came about after his administration considered input received during a 60-day public comment period.

The change means a chief of police or the state police superintendent can consider "serious threats" that could demonstrate a special danger to an applicant's life that the person could specify in a written certification of justifiable need to carry a handgun.

The revision also clarifies that a permit may be issued based on a special danger to the applicant's life that can't be avoided by other "reasonable" means.

The change doesn't change the process for obtaining a permit.

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