BREAKING: NJ Governor Chris Christie VETOES Magazine Capacity Bill (A2006/S993)
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed A2006/S993, the gun control bill that was the result of back room dealings. The bill would have limited magazine capacity in the Garden State to 10 rounds with no grandfather clause. Christie announced the move in a press release this afternoon,
Governor Christie has consistently stated that we must focus on what actually works to reduce violence in our society and not just what is politically popular or sounds good in name only. Evaluating gun control measures is just one piece of a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach that seeks to address the root causes of violence. Echoing this commitment, today Governor Christie is returning A2006 to the legislature with a reform plan that deals with individuals with mental illness who pose a danger to the community and directly addressing cracks in New Jersey’s mental health system.”
Governor Christie: “We will not settle for grandstanding reform in name only. We can insist that elected officials pass laws that will bring about meaningful change. Mass violence will not end by changing the number of bullets loaded into a gun. It will end with a serious commitment to elevating our response to mental illness, a declaration that we will not let our discomfort with this disease threaten our children, our families, and our communities. It will end by taking seriously our duty to incarcerate violent criminals, not by criminalizing the conduct of law abiding citizens to score political points. I am ready to lead that fight.”
In January 2013, Governor Christie was clear about the need to be the “grown-ups on this issue:”
Governor Christie: “We cannot and we should not let emotion guide our actions. We cannot let empty rhetoric, fear, division, and politics, along with the twenty-four hour media cycle take hold of this conversation and the things we must do to fundamentally deal with the very real problems we’re facing in our homes, in our schools, in our state, and in our country.”
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE HAS PUT SOLUTIONS BEFORE POLITICS: Today’s action is consistent with Governor Christie’s comprehensive, multi-pronged approach. In April 2013, Governor Christie, utilizing recommendations from the bipartisan NJ Safe Taskforce, first unveiled a comprehensive and sensible plan aimed at violence control. These proposals include reforms to impose mandatory minimum sentences for illegal gun possession, stringent sentences for firearms trafficking, and new guidelines to target and treat mental illness.
Instead of acting on these reforms, the legislature continues to pass ill-conceived bills in an attempt to drive an emotional, political agenda. More than one year later, and despite no vocal opposition to these measures, the Governor’s proposals to fix critical aspects of our criminal justice and mental health systems languish unconsidered by the legislature and unavailable to law enforcement and mental health professionals.
Many wondered if Christie, who many think may be seeking a presidential bid in 2016, would side with his party on the issue of guns. Christie has previously vetoed other gun control bills while seemingly supporting some gun control measures with some public comments, particularly after Sandy Hook.
Click here to read a copy of the letter Christie sent to the state legislature.