For Chris Christie, a smart gun problem?


The new iP1 smart gun from Armatix. (Armatix)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has a rather nuanced view on gun control.

Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Republican governor with White House fantasies but current political headaches signed 10 gun control measures into law.

But he vetoed three high-profile ones: “a ban on the .50-caliber Barrett rifle, a bill that expanded background checks and gun safety training, and a bill requiring the state to send information on lost and discarded guns to a federal database,” as my colleague Aaron Blake noted last year.

Now Christie’s administration is facing a gun issue that began unfolding long before it got to Trenton.

In my front-page story on the emergence of smart guns, I noted that New Jersey passed a controversial law in 2002 mandating that, as I put it, “only smart guns be sold in the state within three years of a smart gun being sold anywhere in the country.”

A smart gun is now on sale in California.

The N.J. law requires the state attorney general to certify that the gun is for sale, whether it meets the definition under the law, and to notify the governor and legislature.

In New Jersey, the attorney general is appointed by the governor. The current office holder is John Jay Hoffman, who took the role in an acting position, replacing Jeffrey Chiesa, who resigned to temporarily fill the senate seat of Frank Lautenberg after he died.

I made requests for comment to Hoffman’s representatives, but never heard anything back.

Meanwhile, the primary sponsor of the New Jersey law, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D), sent a letter to Hoffman after she learned last month that a smart gun in California could be on sale soon. The Democrat reminded Hoffman of his responsibilities under the law.

“I expect your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your reply,” Weinberg wrote.

She has not received a reply.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post?s local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.
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