Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ-12) joined Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage, Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, State Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20), representatives from the Million Mom March and Ceasefire New Jersey, and others at Elizabeth City Hall to demand action on common-sense gun safety legislation in the wake of recent shooting tragedies in Colorado and Wisconsin.
"While we mourn those lost and injured in these senseless shootings, we must turn our grief into action," said Senator Lautenberg, "Now is the time to put common-sense solutions in place and stop the killing. We owe our communities sensible reforms so murderers and terrorists can't create stockpiles of high-capacity magazines and ammunition without raising red flags."
"If we want to help put an end to senseless, deadly violence like we saw in Aurora, then New Jersey's common-sense gun laws need to go national," said Senator Menendez. "It's time we had reasonable federal gun safety laws to limit stockpiling of ammunition by criminals or the number of deadly rounds they can fire in a second. No one should receive a death sentence for being at the wrongplace at the wrong time."
Rep. Holt said, "As we have followed the news from Colorado with horror and sympathy for the families, we should remember that each day more than 80 Americans are killed by gunfire. All of these deaths, whether from homicide or suicide or accident, are tragic, and we must act to prevent as many as possible. Arguments that gun safety legislation won't help the situation seem to me illogical or blindly ideological."
"Legislation needs to be enacted within New Jersey and throughout our nation, that protects and secures the public as well as reduces gun violence in our cities," stated City of Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition. "Senator Lautenberg's bill will help deter dangerous weapons and excessive ammunition from falling into the hands of the wrong people. In addition, it incorporates vital checks and balances that provide an additional level of safety."
"New Jersey's strong gun control laws are compromised by weak federal laws," said State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-20). "Lautenberg's leadership in Washington D.C. will save lives in New Jersey and throughout the country."
"While we have done many things at the local and state level to curb gun violence and to prevent illegal guns from making their way into the hands of criminals, the fact is the gun violence we see every day in our cities, suburbs, and even rural areas will only stop when action is taken at the federal level," said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy. "New Jersey is fortunate to have Senator Frank Lautenberg working on this issue in Washington. He has long been a champion of creating common-sense gun laws in our country and has done what many others have not by standing up to the NRA and the powerful gun lobby."
Assembly members Annette Quijano and Linda Stender, Roselle Mayor Jamel Holly, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson Briggs, and Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounk were also in attendance to support the call for common-sense reform.
Senator Lautenberg is a leader in Congress for responsible gun safety measures. Last year, Lautenberg introduced common-sense legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. Lautenberg also is the author of two bills aimed at closing significant loopholes in U.S. law--the "gun show loophole" and the "Terror Gap"--that make it easier for criminals and terrorists to obtain guns and explosives to carry out their crimes. Additional information about Lautenberg's common-sense gun safety reforms can be found here.
Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4) recently introduced the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act, which would keep Americans safe by limiting the ability of people planning for mass murder to anonymously purchase ammunition through the Internet or other mail-order means. It also would require that ammunition dealers report bulk sales of ammunition to law enforcement.
Senator Lautenberg authored the Domestic Violence Gun Ban, which bans the shipment, transport, sale or ownership of guns by individuals convicted of domestic violence. Since it was enacted in 1996, the law has succeeded in keeping guns out of the hands of spousal and child abusers on approximately 200,000 occasions.