Despite staunch opposition from gun rights advocates, the State Senate plans to vote on 14 gun control bills May 13.

Trenton State House
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Second Amendment proponents are only one obstacle for the Democrat-controlled Upper House. Democratic leaders in the Assembly have drawn a line in the sand saying they will not advance the Senate's legislation because it does not include a bill to impose a 10-bullet limitation on the capacity of semiautomatic ammunition magazines.

"Now we have a package of bills that addresses most of the issues on both sides," says Senate Law and Public Safety Committee chairman Donald Norcross. "Neither side is happy now which means we're probably in the right spot."

The Senate package does not address the issue of great importance to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald.

"Whether it is a college campus in Virginia, a movie theater in Colorado or an elementary school in Connecticut: enough is enough," says Greenwald. "It is time to pass common sense laws to prevent gun violence here in New Jersey - including cracking down on high-capacity magazines. We owe these families and the thousands of New Jersey families that have been devastated by gun violence nothing less."

If the Assembly will not post any of the Senate's bills for a vote because of the magazine capacity argument, what makes Norcross think posting them in the Upper House is not an exercise in futility?

"I think they'll (Assembly Democrats) understand that you don't want to hold back good common sense practices that are going to address the firearms issue that we are facing today on behalf of just one bill," explains Norcross. "They'll see the common sense thread of this is that you want to move the bills that you can and the others we're still working on."

There is a bill in the Senate co-sponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Nia Gill, but it is not included in the package that has moved through the committee process.

Democratic Candidate For Governor Unveils Gun Control Plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Barbara Buono has released her plan to combat gun violence and keep communities safe.

The Buono Plan to Reduce Gun Violence features a series of solutions designed to improve New Jersey's gun laws, including reducing the size of high capacity magazines, creating a true universal background check system and requiring ammunition sales be conducted face-to-face.

"We have witnessed the perils of gun violence far too often over the past few months and we have a responsibility in New Jersey to do everything possible to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe," says Buono. "My plan will enhance New Jersey's existing gun laws and provide the real solutions necessary to reduce gun violence in our state."

Highlights of the Buono Plan to Prevent Gun Violence include:

  • Limiting large-capacity magazines to 10 rounds of ammunition.
  • Closing background check loophole by mandating that all firearm sales and transfers go through a licensed dealer, with exceptions only for immediate family members, law enforcement, licensed collectors, and temporary transfers for gun safety trainings.
  • Banning online, telephone and mail-order ammunition sales, requiring all sales to be face-to-face through licensed dealer.
  • Requiring renewal of firearms ID card every 2 years.
  • Banning weapons that are .50 caliber or higher.
  • Mandating reporting mental health records to national instant background check system.
  • Divesting state assets from companies that manufacture, import or sell firearms, excluding those made for use by military or law enforcement.Requiring firearms safety training in order to obtain a firearms purchaser ID.
  • Taking a comprehensive approach to stemming urban gun violence through education and economic policies.