(From Freedom States Alliance affiliate CeaseFire New Jersey)
The New Jersey Senate passed Senate bill S-1774, colloquially known as the One Handgun A Month bill, early this morning.
Tom Jardim, Board Chair of Ceasefire NJ, the Garden State’s leading organization devoted to reducing gun violence said: “At 12:15 this morning the Senate took an important step toward making the illegal trafficking of handguns in our state less likely. There can be no doubt that S-1774 is life-saving legislation, intended to reduce the movement of handguns from legal sale at New Jersey gun shops to illegal street sale. These illegal handguns are the ones that fuel gun crime and violence. It is illegal guns that are used to threaten, wound, maim and kill.”
“We especially commend Sponsor Sen Sandra Cunningham, Sen President Richard Codey and Law & Public Safety Chair Sen John Girgenti,” said Jardim, “for moving the bill in the face of withering gun lobby opposition. Governor Corzine and staff also worked hard for passage. And, One Handgun A Month originated with Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, a tireless advocate for public safety. These fine public officials deserve the thanks of all New Jerseyans concerned about the safety or our homes, schools and communities.”
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Ceasefire NJ was joined in support of S-1774 by Mayor Healy, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the NJ County Prosecutors Association, the City Councils of Atlantic City, Jersey City, Camden, Paterson, Passaic and Newark, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the New Jersey Million Mom March
Bryan Miller, Executive Director of Ceasefire NJ said: “Leave it to sensible Garden State legislators to hold the NRA juggernaut at bay by promoting the public safety. The NRA put on quite a show this spring, bringing DC-based lobbyists who tried to confuse legislators and obfuscate the issue. One NRA lobbyist claimed to be a retired ATF supervisor and went so far as to testify in committee that shutting off bulk straw purchases that fuel the illegal handgun trade would somehow be a mistake and make law enforcement’s job more difficult. Imagine, a mistake to seek to reduce the flow of illegal handguns to our streets. More proof the gun lobby is willing to do or say anything, including lie, to seek to protect gun industry profits.”
Jardim asked: “Who needs to buy more than 13 handguns a year? The only people with such need are firearms collectors, exempted from the bill, and criminal entrepreneurs who arrange the movement of handguns from legal bulk sale at gun shops, including in New Jersey, to illegal street sale - to the very people all agree should not have guns. These street customers cannot pass background checks, so need traffickers to supply them illegal handguns. How else would they get guns? S-1774, by severely limiting numbers of handguns sold to individuals, will severely diminish intrastate gun trafficking, and save lives in the bargain.
“It came down to the Senate understanding its duty to mediate between the personal privilege of a tiny minority of NJ handgun extremists and the common good – public safety. Happily, it decided for the latter,” said Jardim. “We anticipate the Governor will sign this critical bill post haste.”