WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
A blue ribbon panel appointed by Governor Chris Christie after the Newtown school shooting massacre wants the state to tighten its gun regulations and the access minors have to violent video games. The task force also wants to see increased access to mental health counseling.
New Jersey already is one of just a few states that bans assault weapons and limits the size of ammunition clips. Currently New Jersey limits clips to 15 rounds. The group took no position on whether that should be further reduced, as some gun control advocates have urged.
But the expert panel does want to see gun owners face stricter criminal penalties as well as civil liability if their guns are improperly stored and cause death or injury.
Also on the list of 50 recommendations compelling gun purchasers to attest under the penalty of law that the guns and ammo they purchase are only for their own use.
The panel also wants to see 24-7 mental health crisis lines expanded for colleges as well as a toll free hotline to report bullying, suicide attempts, or possible violence. Such a hotline established in Colorado after Columbine is credited with 78 arrests and the thwarting of 28 school attacks.
Governor Christie has up to ten days to review the report.