ELIZABETH — Democratic city council candidate Lester Dominguez is calling for tougher gun laws to prevent illegal handguns and other weapons from making their way onto city streets.
Dominguez said weak federal gun laws that allow illegal weapons to flow into New Jersey, are a major contributor to violent crimes that have made headlines throughout the state.
The Fifth Ward Democrat, who is running with the Column B Democrats for Change, said a roundtable discussion on firearm violence was held in Sayreville last week.
“Experts at the event organized by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that weapons enter into the illegal market because of the structure of the federal gun laws,” Dominguez said. “We need to cut back on the number of deadly weapons available to reduce the number of potential killers.”
Calling gun violence “a national epidemic,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said, “This is our own brand of domestic terrorism.”
“I don’t know where the outrage in this country is,” said Newark Police Director Gary McCarthy, who also called for loopholes in federal gun laws to be closed.
Dominguez said he would join New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and he is urging state lawmakers to increase the mandatory minimum sentence for illegal possession of a loaded handgun.
“Illegal guns don’t belong on our streets and we need to send that message loud and clear,” Dominguez said. “I am determined to see that gun dealers who break the law are held accountable, and that criminals who carry illegal loaded guns serve serious time behind bars.”