Gun Control Debate Takes Center Stage After CT Shooting

Lawmakers in New Jersey have differing opinions about what, if anything, should be changed with regard to the state's gun control laws.

By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
NJ Today

New Jersey already has very tough gun laws. You need to apply in triplicate to your local police chief to get a two-year permit. Firearms are prohibited in school and college buildings and the state does not recognize gun permits from other states.

So one feeling here at the Statehouse post Connecticut is that if any more gun regulation is needed, it’s under the Capitol Hill dome, not the Statehouse dome.

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“This one is real difficult because here was a gun that was legally owned by the mom, that the son took from the mother and used it in such a way to destroy human life, children. So all the gun laws in the world wouldn’t stop someone from stealing a gun that they’re unauthorized to use,” Assemblyman Jon Bramnick said.

Some leaders think it’s too soon to discuss additional gun regulation.

“These children, these teachers, these administrators aren’t even buried yet, and it’s important that we find solutions that work over time. I don’t think people are advancing a solution that’s gonna work today. But people need to find long-term solutions that relate to mental health, that relate to security,” Sen. Tom Kean said.

The Senate president agrees on that point. “I’m a supporter of the second amendment and I honestly believe normally when you hear about shootings in the street, they aren’t people that bought guns in the store. But that being said, we have to have a discussion on what’s working and what’s not because we know one thing, when you see 20 children murdered and six adults and you hear about people walking into movie theaters, there’s issues there that have to be addressed. And honestly, the gun laws are one but mental health absolutely has to be another one,” Senate President Steve Sweeney said.

President Barack Obama made a vague commitment. The founder Ceasefire New Jersey says there’s an opportunity now.

“I think the public is seeking to see something done on this particular issue and again I think it’s because of what happened on Friday, which was just a tragedy. I think the public has been deeply moved and I think there is a desire to see some changes in the context of gun regulations,” said Ceasefire New Jersey founder Jack Johnson.

“You hear the president speak, you hear talking heads in the media. Nobody has the answer to this one,” Bramnick said.

Gun rights groups had no comment today. Four New Jersey members of Congress, all Democrats, are calling for more regulation.


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