Senate majority leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) has been a long-time supporter of gun control. She told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that next Tuesday will be the beginning of a legislative process to tighten gun safety laws in New Jersey, which already has the second most stringent laws in the country.
There is conflict among Democratic lawmakers over restrictions on the size of magazines to 10 rounds rather than 15. Senate President Steve Sweeney did not include the limitation in a package of gun measures the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to take up on Tuesday.
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), sponsor of the bill in the Assembly, said the lower house would not act on the Senate bills if they did not include the lower limit.
Asked about the tension within the Democratic party, Weinberg quoted the famous Will Rogers’ line, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” But she added that the differences among her fellow Democrats stem from strong feelings about the issue of gun safety.
Even though the bill reducing the size of magazines is not up for a vote on Tuesday, Weinberg said she maintains the same position as Assemblyman Greenwald.
“I’m the prime sponsor in the Senate, along with Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex), of the same bill Assemblyman Lou Greenwald passed in the Assembly,” Weinberg said. “I think Assemblyman Greenwald will understand both Sen. Gill and I are devoted to making sure that the bill that he had passed in the Assembly will see the light of day in the Senate, not on Tuesday. But as I said, Tuesday is the beginning of a process.”
Her strong position on gun safety goes back many, many years, she said.
“I did the first child proof handgun legislation that was signed under the McGreevey administration,” said Weinberg.
Whether Gov. Christie will approve a gun control bill is something Weinberg can’t predict.
“I gave up a long time ever predicting what Gov. Christie does or will do,” she quipped. “He says quite regularly, ‘I never make up my mind about a bill until it gets to my desk,’ so when these bills get to his desk over the next period of time, Gov. Christie will have to stand up and be counted one way or another.”