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Christie Takes Aim At Gun Violence and NRA

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WNYC

In response to the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, Gov. Chris Christie has appointed a panel to evaluate current state gun laws and the prevalence of violence in society.

Christie's approach is markedly different than that of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who successfully moved for tighter gun laws earlier this week.  

New Jersey already has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country. Christie told reporters that a national survey of gun laws ranked New Jersey second behind California for having the most stringent regulations. Christie says New Jersey has a 15 round limit on ammo clips, a ban on assault weapons and mandatory background checks, as well as a week-long waiting period before a gun purchase.

Governor Christie told reporters that to just focus solely on gun laws would miss what he believes are the deeper issues raised by the mass shootings in Newtown and elsewhere. Christie wants his panel to look at the availability of mental health and drug counseling as well the prevalence of violence in society in general.

"And so if we focus just on calling this gun control in my view we are missing out on the bigger story," he said. "We have to look at violence control."

During a Thursday news conference, the governor blasted the NRA for a recently-released TV ad that calls President Obama hypocritical on gun control because the president's children are under 24-7 armed protection.

"To talk about the president's children or any public officer's children who have, not by their own choice, but by requirement, to have protection to use that some how somehow, to try and make a political point I think is reprehensible," Christie said.

Jersey City Mayor Jeremiah Healy, one of the first mayors to sign up with Mayor Bloomberg's national campaign against illegal handguns, commended Christie for his decision to appoint a task force. But Healy says because  neighboring states have such lax gun laws, a Federal strategy has to be the top priority.

"I go into a store for instance in Pennsylvania and I can buy 20 handguns, walk out and put them in your trunk. And this is totally legal so far, and then you drive away and do what you want with them. You can drive from PA to Paterson," Healy said.

Rutgers Political Science Professor Ross Baker says Christie's focus on Sandy recovery has done nothing but boost his positive image. By contrast, he says gun control is a political minefield.

"This is trickier for the governor because clearly if he really does have ambitions beyond the state of New Jersey he has to be careful on something like gun control."

Christie has appointed former Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero and former Attorney General John Degnan to lead the panel. It has to report back in 60 days.

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Comments [5]

letfreedomring

The author of this article should really research both NJ laws and Federal firearms laws. A NJ resident cannot purchase a long gun in PA without a valid Firearms ID card issued by the State of NJ. Secondly they must still pass a NCIS check PRIOR to taking possession of said long gun. Handguns must transferred to a NJ FFL dealer if they are out of state purchases. The resident then must provide a valid NJ permit to purchase a handgun. The waiting periods are in effect for this transaction. This is how guns are legally transferred from PA. Private individuals who perform private interstate transfers without complying with the federal and NJ laws currently can spend quite a bit of time in jail.

Jan. 18 2013 08:13 PM
NotDeadYet from Morris County, NJ

Mr. Hennelly underestimates the difficulty of purchasing guns legally in NJ. I suggest he visit his local police department and discover firsthand what is involved, how much it costs and how long it will take to get a permit to purchase a rifle or a handgun. Perhaps he could report monthly on his progress.

Similarly, I hope Mr. Healy does try to execute his fantasy. He will discover firsthand how little he knows about PA, NJ and Federal laws governing straw purchases, gun-trafficking and the transportation of firearms into and within his home state.

Progress against gun violence will begin when Mr. Christie equips state and local police forces with the information and resources they need to enforce existing laws against the illegal purchase and sale of guns and the use of weapons in the commission of crime. Making law is easy; enforcing law is hard but it's the hard stuff that makes a difference.

Jan. 18 2013 11:53 AM
saynotohealy

Healy is stupid beyond words. You can't just go to PA to buy 20 handguns. There a background check (NICS) for every purchase. Plus with a jersey id you have to go through a waiting period and they will only sell you jersey legal gun and magazines. And they report it to the state police. Even pa locals can't buy 20 handguns. It called a straw purchase and no gun store would be part of that. Healy is a retard.

The obama admin on the other hand was more than happy to let 2000 guns go walking in fast and the furious and over 400 civilians were killed by those guns. If those plolitical hacks have gun toting security for their kids what business do they have taking our guns away?

Jan. 18 2013 12:22 AM

Chris Christie is an idiot... not only were they not represensible, they were exactly spot on in pointing out the extreme utter hypocrisy of the elite rich ruling class.

Jan. 17 2013 11:39 PM
mesiti

When is the gov't going to address the real issue of releasing criminals from prison and allowing them back into society to hurt more innocent people? let's hear the statistics on that. How many crimes are committed by repeat felons? why are they being let out? stop babying these people and punish them. We the law abiding citizens should not be punished by having to deal with those who do not abide by the law. Let's start having the punishment fit the crime. Then and only then maybe we can live a better life in the U.S. Maybe instead of limiting guns..everyone should be issued one. Then criminals would think twice about committing a crime because they might get shot themselves. What is the crime rate in Texas ? things that make you go hmmmm ?

Jan. 17 2013 09:50 PM

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