STATE — State Sen. Barbara Buono, Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver and other key Democrats expressed disappointment with Gov. Christie’s decision to veto several bills designed to help curb gun violence, asserting the Republican put politics ahead of public safety.
“It is absolutely astounding that Gov. Christie has ignored the will of his constituents and vetoed legislation that is supported by an overwhelming number of New Jerseyans,” said Buono, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. “With today’s vetoes, he has made his priorities clear – the wishes of right-wing, fringe Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire are more important than protecting children and families in the Garden State.”
Oliver noted the bill banning .50 caliber weapons (A-3659) was an especially common sense proposal to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and minimize the destruction caused by guns that land in the wrong hands.
“Banning these battlefield-style weapons was designed to keep these highly destructive firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals and terrorists,” said Oliver. “Weaponry designed for the battlefield, that serves no legitimate civilian use, should not be landing on our streets.”
“His cynical decision is even more astounding when you consider that he called for banning .50 caliber rifles in April,” said Buono.
“The Governor has failed to support a very common sense reform and the consequences could be grave,” according to Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a sponsor of the legislation to ban .50-caliber weapons in New Jersey. “These firearms suit only military-trained snipers in war-time tactical procedures against enemy combatants. They have absolutely no legitimate sporting purpose or place in everyday society. Not banning them is careless and counterproductive to public safety and common sense gun violence prevention.”
“The governor’s vetoes today demonstrate a failure in leadership,” said Oliver. “Instead of doing what’s right for New Jersey, he bowed to the pressures of his political party… (and) right wing conservatives.”
“He assumes that he will be leaving New Jersey for Washington, D.C. and is therefore willing to let citizens, law enforcement and legislators in the streets of Newark, Trenton and Camden deal with the consequences of today’s decision,” said Buono. “We deserve better than broken promises and empty rhetoric that is out-of-touch with the vast majority of the state.”
“New Jerseyans of all political stripes agree: we need common-sense gun violence prevention, including stronger background checks that keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals,” said Assemblyman Louis Greenwald. “In rejecting stronger background checks, Chris Christie has put his national political ambitions ahead of protecting New Jersey’s families from being ripped apart by senseless gun violence.
Greenwald called Christie’s actions, “truly shameful.”
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