"The people of New Jersey overwhelming want this action, not merely more thoughts and prayers", said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, D-Camden, on Monday, citing weekend demonstrations by gun control advocates sparked by the fatal shooting of 17 faculty and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
One would reduce magazine capacity, another would ban armor-piercing bullets, two are created to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues, and one would require a state resident to show demonstrate that they face a specific threat in order to get a permit to carry a handgun.
"New Jersey's gun safety laws are among the strongest in the nation and we must keep them that way", said Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald.
The legislation also drew an estimated 2,000 people who opposed the bills to the War Memorial in Trenton, according to a state police estimate.
Governor Phil Murphy pledged to sign the bills if they are approved by the New Jersey Senate. A sixth bill would require residents to show a "justifiable need" to get a carry permit.
Bill A-1181 requires firearms seizures when certain health care professionals determine that patients pose a threat of harm to self or others. The bills must still clear the Senate before going to the Democratic governor.
"I applaud the General Assembly for passing these commonsense gun measures to protect our communities and families", said Murphy in a statement. Magazines capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition now are legal in New Jersey. That bill passed 48 to 26 with two abstentions, mostly along party lines. "It is nearly impossible for a crime victim in New Jersey, as we stand here today, to get a concealed carry permit..."
"The people of New Jersey have demanded we act, and we must", he said.
Republican state lawmakers announced their own legislation that would address school shootings but wouldn't add gun restrictions. Sen.
The bill's sponsors cast the measures as part of an effort to keep New Jersey's firearms laws among the most stringent in the country.
AB 2757 requires background checks on nearly all guns transferred in the state with exemptions for firearms loaned among "immediate family" or licensed collectors.