Animal Rights Endorsement Fires Up Gun Owners

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak is fighting to reduce gun violence

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak is fighting to reduce gun violence

STATE — When the League of Humane Voters of New Jersey announced support for state Senator Raymond Lesniak in his primary election campaign, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance reacted with some strongly worded remarks attacking the lawmaker.

The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, which represents New Jersey hunters, came armed with strong words for Lesniak, who has been outspoken against gun violence at public events and is among the key sponsors of legislation to impose common sense regulations on firearms.

“Anti-gun state Senator Raymond Lesniak gets endorsement from state Animals Rights lobby,” read a caption at, which described itself as the web’s leading shooting sports news service for the ammunition, firearms, shooting, and hunting communities.

Lesniak’s bid for re-election is being challenged by the president of the Roselle school board.

“Senator Lesniak is one of the leading humane legislators in the United States,” according to a letter to members of the League of Humane Voters in New Jersey. “His laws and legislation relieve animal suffering statewide and create precedents for federal legislation. Senator Lesniak has more than earned the support and gratitude of animal lovers throughout New Jersey.”

Susan Russell and Angi Metler, co-directors of the group, identified six pieces of legislation that Lesniak sponsored to protect animals from inhumane practices, such as slaughtering horses for human consumption and subjecting dogs or cats to starvation and severe cruelty.

The gun lobby has long had its sights on Lesniak, who helped outlaw assault rifles in the state and defended that weapons ban against Republican repeal efforts.

Lesniak is also a leader on the Senate Democrats’ comprehensive gun safety plan.

New Jersey would declare violence a public health crisis under a bill proposed by Lesniak, who also called for expanded mental health programs and federal gun control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre and the August shooting at an Old Bridge Pathmark, where an employee armed with an assault rifle killed two coworkers and himself.

Another Lesniak measure would help parents limit their children’s exposure to violence in the media by requiring the state education department to develop a pamphlet for schools to distribute to the homes of all their students.

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