April 30, 1999 |
In the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado and the fatal shooting of one Philadelphia 7-year-old by another, City Councilman Angel Ortiz yesterday introduced a bill to promote the use of safety technology on guns. The bill, proposed by Mayor Rendell and cosponsored by Councilman David Cohen, would hold gun owners, sellers and carriers liable for civil damages arising from gunshot injuries or death unless the weapons are "smart" guns that can be fired only by their owners.
July 2, 1999 |
The New Jersey Senate yesterday became the first legislative body in the nation to pass a bill that asks the gun industry to develop "smart" technology to protect children. And if it becomes law, the legislation will give the state's top cop the authority to determine when and if such technology is ready to be marketed. The measure, approved 23-17, goes beyond a trigger-lock requirement that the Assembly passed last week but does not mandate smart guns. All 16 Democrats voted against the bill.
April 23, 1999 |
It didn't take the Colorado massacre to get Mayor Rendell impassioned about guns. At a news conference yesterday, he held aloft the .44 caliber weapon that earlier this week killed 7-year-old South Philadelphian Nafis Jefferson, whose playmates found the gun under a car. "This is the gun," Rendell said, "a killing machine that should be regulated so that only the person who buys it can use it. " And so Rendell has proposed unprecedented legislation...
May 17, 2000 |
One year after starting a review of "smart" guns - weapons that are electronically modified so they can be used only by their rightful owners - a university research team said yesterday that such products are at least five years from being sold in stores. Several manufacturers are working on prototypes of smart guns, yet they will likely require three to five more years of research plus two years of development and testing, said Donald Sebastian, director of the $1 million study by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
July 22, 1999 |
When it comes to "smart" guns - electronically modified weapons that can be fired only by their owners - everyone in the New Jersey legislature seems to have a different approach. Assembly Speaker Jack Collins (R., Salem) put money in the state budget to study such guns, which now exist only in prototype form. Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco (R., Union) wants to require that all guns be sold with such technology but only after it is "commercially available. " Some gun-control advocates say both are missing the target, and yesterday three Assembly Democrats gave an early indication that their party will flog the issue for all it's worth in November.
June 22, 1999 |
Aiming for a compromise with fellow Republicans over handguns, Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco suggested yesterday giving the state attorney general power to decide when "smart" guns should be made mandatory in New Jersey. But even as DiFrancesco (R., Union) proposed the bill and dropped his support for an earlier, stricter version, it remained unclear whether Assembly Speaker Jack Collins (R., Salem) would agree to the compromise and post DiFrancesco's new bill for an Assembly vote this month, as hoped.
June 26, 1999 |
While New Jersey legislators are still debating high-profile and controversial proposals on requiring "smart guns" that can be fired only by their owners, the state Assembly has passed a bill that would require gun dealers to include trigger locks or lock boxes with every handgun they sell. The trigger lock bill, which passed Thursday by 75-5 and drew no debate in the lower house, would also direct that $90,000 be spent to set up a program to make free trigger locks available to current handgun owners.
July 29, 1998 |
Mayor Rendell took his campaign against gun violence to the White House yesterday, lobbying for support for a federal crackdown on firearms crime in Philadelphia. Meeting with Rahm Emanuel, a top adviser to President Clinton, the mayor also urged the White House to get behind a proposal to spend $100 million to develop so-called smart guns that can only be fired by a specific user. Kevin A. Feeley, spokesman for Rendell, said that White House aides were intrigued by both proposals, but stopped short of endorsing them.
March 31, 2000 |
Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco (R., Union) renewed his vow yesterday to bring "smart" handguns to New Jersey - a goal he sought last fall in the legislature but did not accomplish. This time, he has strengthened his gun-safety proposal and boasts a wide array of supporters, including police chiefs, prosecutors, teachers and parents' groups, all of whom joined him at a Statehouse news conference. DiFrancesco also received tentative support yesterday from a person in a strong position to help the proposal become law: Gov. Whitman.
May 19, 2000 |
Yesterday, for the second time in less than a year, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill designed to encourage the development of personalized, or "smart," handguns - weapons that theoretically would be unusable by children or other unauthorized people. Unlike the first time, however, the measure passed by a wide margin - 34-2. It had bipartisan support and the backing of gun-control groups, which had argued that the first bill would have allowed the gun industry too much wiggle room.