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Bergen, Passaic Senator's Gun-Carry Bid Drawing Flak From Both Sides

New Jersey State Sen. Gerald Cardinale
New Jersey State Sen. Gerald Cardinale Photo Credit: FACEBOOK photo

CRESSKILL, N.J. -- State Sen. Gerald Cardinale of Cresskill says he can't win: His proposal to allow him and fellow lawmakers -- as well as state and municipal judges -- to carry concealed handguns has drawn criticism from those for and against it.

“My current introduction of a very modest modification of the case law definition of ‘Justifiable Need’ has already revealed the anti-gun lobby as opposing the basic human right of self-defense, said Cardinale (R-Bergen, Passaic)..

"There is no realistic probability that judges or legislators will misuse guns," he said, "but opposition by...anti-gun activists to my proposal is quite revealing.

“On the other hand, many pro-self-defense supporters are upset that my proposal is so narrow. They understandably want equal treatment."

Cardinale noted that he's favored "shall issue" gun-reform bills "applicable to all."

"But my legislative colleagues have rejected considering carry legislation reforms that have promoted self-defense and simultaneously reduced gun crime in Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and some 30 other states," he said.

Under his bill, legislators and judges would be exempt from the state's “justifiable need” requirement.

Instead, they would only have to show that they've completed at least eight hours of firearm safety training and do not have any disabilities that would exclude them under current law.

The measure "at least has reopened the debate," said Cardinale, a dentist by trade and a state legislator the past 34 years. "I respectfully request the opposition from both sides re-read the entire bill, not just the headlines.

“Consider carefully: If King George had thought to successfully impose gun control on the 13 colonies, 1776 would be just another uneventful date in history. America owes its freedom to citizen gun ownership.”

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