As former resident of the Garden State, it doesn’t surprise me that New Jersey Democrats fumbled their own bill. Right now, they’re crafting a gun control bill that is being championed as a model for the nation. The bill (S2723) would encode a firearm owner’s ID on their driver’s license, establish a system of instant background checks, and force gun owners to show that they’ve received the proper training. There’s only one problem. They didn’t have enough votes.
Dave Urbanski at the Blaze wrote on June 14 about the legislative kerfuffle.
The author of the bill, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, calls the legislation a “national model,” says NJ.com. And while it passed the state Senate, a political adversary of Sweeney’s stood in its way — Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), who abstained from voting on the measure in the Assembly’s Law and Public Safety committee.
Cryan’s lack of support was critical, leaving the bill without enough votes to advance.
Apparently seeing the fallout ahead, the committee’s chairman — Charles Mainor (D-Hudson) — stopped the vote and called a recess, briefly conferring with abstainer Cryan. When the committee resumed, the intention was to move to another bill. But another member of the committee objected, saying rules prohibited stopping the vote.
Here’s the language from Assembly rules:
Cryan worried about the cost of the new law. He said, “I abstained based on cost concerns…I along with many other thousands of New Jerseyans have lost a motor vehicle office in our district. We had some real cost concerns about the bill.” Then again, as Urbanski noted, Cryan and Sweeney are both vying for the chairmanship of the state Democratic Party. Thus, some political maneuvering may be at work here. Cryan supported a bill that would limit magazine sizes from fifteen to ten rounds. It passed the state Assembly, but Sweeney shelved it in the senate.