NJ Enacts More Gun Legislation in Wake of Mass Shootings

Michael Aron, NJTV News | August 6, 2019 | Politics
Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver signs three gun violence bills; Gov. Phil Murphy and Sen. Cory Booker call for action nationwide

Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver signed three gun violence bills Monday as the nation is still reeling from this weekend’s two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

President Donald Trump on Monday addressed the nation and said, “We are outraged.”

“The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul,” Trump said.

The president then focused his remarks on mental illness. Although Trump did condemn white racism, that was not enough for Sen. Cory Booker.

“We are all responsible to each other in this country. We have moral bonds and fabric of our country. We have a president of the United States who is particularly responsible. I, in my faith, have this idea that you reap what you sow, and he is sowing seeds of hatred in our country and this harvest of hate violence that we’re seeing right now lies at his feet. When you have the president from the highest moral office in the land talking about invasions and infestations and s—hole countries, the kinds of things that come out of his mouth that so harm the moral fabric of our nation, he is responsible. He is responsible and he has taken no action whatsoever to condemn white supremacy,” Booker said.

Gov. Phil Murphy put out a statement Sunday that said, “It is past time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put common-sense House-passed gun legislation up for a vote in the United States Senate. Over the past 18 months, we have taken tremendous strides to end the crisis of gun violence in our state, but we cannot have these advances undone by continued inaction and deflection at the national level.”

Gun Violence Intervention program

Oliver expanded a program called Gun Violence Intervention, a hospital-based program that provides trained counselors with case management healing techniques for gunshot victims. It also tries to dissuade them from retaliation. Currently, there’s only one such program in the state at University Hospital in Newark.

“The bills that we are signing today will help cut gun violence off at the source through comprehensive, hospital-based violence intervention programs that will educate, care for and protect New Jersey residents to help save lives,” Oliver said. “They prove our determination to stop the violence through intervention programming.”

New Jersey continues to advance its strong anti-gun violence agenda, hoping that the rest of the nation gets on board.