Chris Christie Vetoes ‘Smart Gun’ Bill, Urges Loosening of Concealed Carry Restrictions

Gov. Chris Christie fields questions at a wide-ranging news conference, March 3, 2016 at the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

On August 24, Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed a bill requiring retailers to stock “smart guns” and urged Democratic lawmakers to loosen restrictions on concealed carry in the state of New Jersey.

According to New Jersey 101.5, the “smart gun” bill would have forced “gun retailers to stock up” on guns designed to fire only when in the hands of an authorized user. There continue to be doubts as to whether the biometric palm and/or finger readers on such guns would function properly if the hands of the authorized user were wet or his fingertips caked with blood.

The viability of “smart guns” that operate via a radio signal transmitted from a bracelet or watch is also in question as the signal between the gun and bracelet could be jammed, rendering the gun useless, or an attentive thief could steal the bracelet as well as the gun and shoot the weapon as much he wishes.

Christie also vetoed legislation that would have turned the state’s “justifiable need” requirement for concealed permits into a law. He said the state needs to go in the opposite direction and make New Jersey a “shall issue” state. A “shall issue” policy means “anyone who is not prohibited from owning a gun and who can demonstrate familiarity with the safe handling [of] guns” can get a permit.

Christie said, “I continue to oppose the relentless campaign by the Democratic legislature to make New Jersey as inhospitable as possible to lawful gun ownership and sales.”

He added:

Instead of remaining an outlier with overly burdensome restrictions of questionable constitutionality, New Jersey should follow the lead of the vast majority of states across the country and simplify, not complicate, the ability of responsible citizens, dealers and retailers, to buy, sell and possess firearms as protected by the Second Amendment.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at