Civil Liberties

Christie Must Decide Whether To Sign Tighter Gun Restrictions in a State With Already Draconian Laws

The state isn't authoritarian enough, yet


A gun control bill that overhauls New Jersey's background check system and imposes new requirements on firearm sales — a centerpiece of the Democrats' legislative agenda — now joins more than a dozen other gun bills awaiting a decision by Governor Christie.

Gun control is one of several thorny issues Christie must navigate, including gay marriage and funding for health care, as he works on a reelection campaign and positions himself on the national political scene.

Christie has 45 days to decide whether the measure should become law, but no matter what he chooses, he will disappoint a large group of people.

Statewide polls show that Garden State voters have consistently supported tighter gun laws — even though New Jersey already has some of the strictest in the country. The governor is looking for a big win in November, so he may not want to run afoul of voters who support gun control.