The New Jersey Senate recently passed a concurrent resolution with the state’s General Assembly that prohibits adoption of the State Police-proposed rule expanding the justifiable need standard for issuing handgun carry permits.
The move halts Governor Chris Christie’s administration’s regulations to expand the “justifiable need standard.” The Governor’s regulation would have made it easier for law-abiding citizens to obtain a concealed carry permit. The regulation expanded the state’s standard to include more general “serious threats,” rather than the state’s current standard, which is almost impossible to meet.
In September, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 117, which thwarted the Governor’s agenda of making it easier for New Jersey residents to obtain a concealed carry permit. Specifically, the resolution provides:
The Legislature prohibits adoption of the proposed rules and regulations published by the Division of State Police for public comment in the New Jersey Register on March 7, 2016 (48 N.J.R.377(a)), to expand the justifiable need standard for carrying a handgun pursuant to N.J.A.C.13:54-2.4 to include “serious threats” in addition to specific threats and previous attacks, which cannot be avoided by “reasonable” means other than by issuance of a permit.
Pursuant to Article V, Section IV, paragraph 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey, this concurrent resolution prohibits adoption of the rules and regulations proposed by the Division of State Police. The resolution passed 22-15.
Under the New Jersey Constitution, the Legislature may review any rule or regulation to determine if the rule or regulation is consistent with the intent of the Legislature as expressed in the language of the statute which the rule or regulation is intended to implement. If it is found to be inconsistent with legislative intent, a concurrent resolution is then sent to the Governor and the agency proposing the new rules or regulations. The Legislature may invalidate that rule or regulation, or may prohibit that proposed rule or regulation from taking effect.
The resolution was introduced in the Senate, and with the General Assembly concurring, goes into effect immediately.