TRENTON - New Jersey’s lawmakers will try to override Gov. Chris Christie’s vetoes of two gun bills Thursday. One of those bills aims to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence.
The bill in question would close the gap in law enforcement across the state that sometimes allows alleged abusers to keep their weapons. It would also create new measures to notify a victim when the accused abuser gets the weapon back.
Patty Sly, the executive director of the Jersey Battered Women’s Service, says the bill is very important. She says that in many cases of domestic abuse, a gun is involved.
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“Whether it’s a sick game of Russian roulette or just bringing the gun out or firing into the ceiling, whatever it may be,” Sly says.
She adds that “in the last 25 years across this country, guns have been used in domestic violence homicides more than all other weapons combined.”
The National Rifle Association says the bill isn’t necessary because judges can already order alleged abusers to surrender their weapons. A spokesman for the NRA tells News 12 New Jersey that the bill will create unnecessary problems for people who are falsely accused of abuse.
Gov. Christie vetoed the bill when it passed. Instead, he called for expedited gun applications for abuse victims so that they can defend themselves.
Sly says that this won’t help the victims because the presence of any gun can escalate the danger.
The other gun bill veto lawmakers are trying to override is a measure that would make it a requirement for police to be notified if someone tries to get mental health records expunged in an attempt to purchase a gun.