February 15, 2013
An overflow crowd of gun-rights advocates clashed with Democratic lawmakers today during a raucous seven-hour hearing as an Assembly committee approved 20 bills that further restrict access to firearms and ammunition.
The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee approved the laundry list of measures despite some outbursts from a throng dotted with NRA baseball caps, camouflage clothing and jackets featuring a coiled rattlesnake from the Revolutionary-era flag. At least two in the audience were ejected.
The lengthy hearing marked the opening round of what promises to be an election-year battle in New Jersey. Democrats have been critical of Gov. Chris Christieâ€™s reticence on gun control, and are well aware that statewide polls that show a majority of residents favor more stringent measures in the wake of the massacre in Sandy Hook, Conn., that left 20 elementary school children dead.