By JOHN HAGANAssociated PressThe Legislature will begin debating bills Wednesday to loosen restrictions on guns in New Jersey and allow police to confiscate guns.
The bills are a response to a deadly rampage last month in which a gunman killed nine people and wounded 16 others in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, later killed himself.
The Assembly is expected to vote on several gun bills, including ones to ease restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in public and to expand gun permits.
The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday that would make it legal for people to carry guns into bars, movie theaters and sporting events.
That bill was passed with bipartisan support, but it did not pass.
Other gun bills include one that would allow people to keep guns in their cars if they are locked and another that would ban concealed carry at schools.
The legislation also would let state police confiscate weapons from people who are suspected of domestic violence or other crimes.
It also would expand a law allowing residents to carry a concealed weapon at a business without a permit.
The other bills include a bill that would give police greater authority to seize guns from those who violate restraining orders, a measure aimed at keeping violent offenders off the streets.
The bills also would allow police more flexibility in using force if necessary.
The Legislature also passed a new law that would require all guns seized from people suspected of violating restraining orders to be destroyed by Feb. 15.
The law would also allow police a much broader discretion to detain guns after they are found.
A bill passed last year allowing police to search guns seized by authorities and sell them at a lower price than if the guns were owned by the person who was killed would expire next year.
The law also would require police to provide an officer with a license or permit to search a gun when a person is arrested and to surrender a gun within 48 hours.
State Sen. Robert Fosse, D-Union, is the sponsor of the bill that allows police to obtain guns without a search warrant.
The Associated Press