New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono released the following statement today calling upon Governor Chris Christie to join leaders like President Obama and Governor Cuomo in the fight against gun violence.
“Over the past weeks we have seen a renewed interest in New Jersey, and nationwide, in taking on the tough fight to keep our children and our streets safe from gun violence. President Obama had Vice President Biden put together a task force to outline proposals to curb gun violence and, just last week, Governor Cuomo detailed a seven-step plan to stop gun violence as part of his State of the State Address. Unfortunately, when Governor Christie was asked about steps he would take towards gun control, he would only say he was ‘willing to have that conversation’ and that he doesn’t allow violent video games in his house.
The Governor’s positions on gun control are littered with inconsistencies and suffer from neglect. In 1995, he called for a ban on assault weapons, but this year, we have only heard him call for a curb on violent video games. Governor Christie has said New Jersey’s laws are tough enough and only need stricter enforcement, but as U.S. Attorney he ranked 80th out of 94 U.S. Attorneys in gun prosecutions. According to TracFed, Chris Christie’s U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey ranked 82nd, 82nd, 87th, 83rd, 80th, 72nd, and 76th for weapon prosecution per capita for Fiscal Years 2002 through 2008.
Today, Governor Christie has the opportunity to exhibit some real leadership on this issue. To do so, he will need to have the courage to stand against the right wing Republican interest groups that play such an influential role in 2016 GOP presidential politics.
Today I am imploring Governor Christie to show the same leadership on display from President Obama and Governor Cuomo and work with my colleagues and I on a bipartisan basis to advance common sense measures to curb gun violence. I will be introducing legislation that will make it mandatory that New Jersey mental health records be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as part of the background check to purchase a gun. I hope Governor Christie will view that as just the beginning.