TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today criticized Governor Christie for his veto of Senate Bill 2786/Assembly Bill 4218. Sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera the legislation had passed through both houses of the state legislature with overwhelming, bipartisan support this summer.
STATEMENT FROM DIANA TRASATTI, VOLUNTEER COMMUNICATIONS LEAD, NEW JERSEY CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA
“I am deeply disappointed with Governor Christie’s veto of this important legislation aimed at keeping New Jersey women safe from domestic abuse,” said Diana Trasatti, the volunteer Communications Lead for the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This bill would have required domestic abusers to turn in their guns when they became legally prohibited from having them. That’s a common-sense enforcement policy that has widespread bipartisan support in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, and is supported by more than eight in ten New Jerseyans. States that keep guns away from those under domestic violence restraining orders see a 25 percent reduction in intimate partner gun homicides. Governor Christie talks a lot about leadership and doing what’s right and putting the needs of the public above politics. Today’s veto suggests just the opposite.”
Under New Jersey state law, domestic abusers are prohibited from having guns if they are subject to a final restraining order or are convicted of a domestic violence offense or crime. But, state law does not require these abusers to turn in the guns they already own. That means a prohibited abuser may be able to go directly home from court and use the guns he has in his possession to harm an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend.
S2786 and A4218 sought to close this dangerous loophole in New Jersey law by requiring that every time a person is convicted of domestic violence or becomes subject to a final domestic violence restraining order—and, under existing law, becomes prohibited from having guns—he must turn in any guns he owns.
Prior to Governor Christie’s veto, the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action had worked alongside the New Jersey coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, gun violence survivors, and domestic violence prevention advocates to write letters to the editor, pen opinion editorials, host press conferences and attend meetings with New Jersey lawmakers urging the swift passage and signing of this life-saving domestic violence prevention legislation. The New Jersey Moms chapter drove more than 4,000 messages to the Governor’s office concerning the bill. The chapter includes more than 70,000 supporters throughout the state.