Speaking from the presidential campaign trail on August 1, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) pledged more pardons for law-abiding citizens charged with carrying guns they legally purchased and possessed in states other than New Jersey.
Christie also voiced support for a reciprocity bill that would require New Jersey to recognize concealed carry permits from other states, but he made clear that Democrat legislators will oppose it.
According NJ.com, Christie spoke about gun rights while in Waterloo, Iowa, saying he has tried to protect law-abiding citizens who find themselves facing gun charges and will continue doing so. He also said the law that prevents citizens with out-of-state concealed carried permits from carrying in New Jersey “is wrong.”
He said, “We need to be smarter about the way we do this. What I don’t want is for folks to feel like they can’t come into our state, and be able to travel through it, or visit it, and have to make sure they go on the Internet and look up exactly how you’re supposed to be dealing with the gun laws.”
Christie added, “We have this gentleman who we’re considering right now for pardon, from North Carolina who was up here, helping New Jersey after the storm to repair cell towers. This is just not the right way to do these things. This was not a guy who was a threat to anybody.”
Thirty-seven states currently have concealed carry reciprocity agreements with at least one other state. Chris Christie says he wants to follow that path.
But it should be noted that Governor Christie opposed broadened reciprocity when it was being pushed federally in 2011. That push would have required every state with concealed carry to recognize the permits of all the other states that allow licensed citizens to carry guns for self-defense.
To be fair, Christie said his opposition to the national reciprocity was based on the fact that it originated at the federal level, rather than the state.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.