A bill to replace New Jersey’s beleaguered smart-gun mandate passed in the state Senate by a vote of 22-15 Monday. Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, S3249 would eliminate the requirement that all handguns sold in N.J. must be smart guns within 30 months after “personalized handguns are available” anywhere in the country. Instead, as models are introduced, they would be vetted by the state attorney general—once a model is approved, all firearms wholesalers and retailers would be required to carry one in their inventory and display it in their stores.
While Weinberg believes S3249 will eliminate a roadblock to the development of smart-gun technology, many recognize it just replaces one gross government overreach with another. Notably, not a single GOP senator voted for it. “To have the government mandate what private business can and cannot sell, I think that’s wrong,” said Republican Sen. Mike Doherty. “That seems a lot like the Soviet Union to me.”