Christie: Easier for bad guys to get guns in NJ than good guys (VIDEO)
Discussing the ongoing gun control debate on Tuesday night's Ask The Governor program on NJ 101.5, Chris Christie said it's easier in New Jersey for "bad guys" to obtain guns than good people.
When asked by host Eric Scott if he thinks allowing people to have easier access to firearms would help prevent mass shootings such as the ones that took place recently in Paris and San Bernardino, Christie didn't provide a direct answer, but said he'd rather see honest people obtain guns than "bad people."
"I do think it's better to have honest, hard-working good people with guns than bad people," Christie said. "The fact of the matter is that right now, we've got a situation, in our state at least, where its easier for a bad guy to get a gun than a good guy. It's just easier, because they don't have to follow the law, they don't care. Good people try to follow the law and they end up getting tied into knots. And that's really bad."
Presently, there are at least 140 gun shops operating out of private homes in residential neighborhoods in Jersey. Individuals and organizations running these kinds of businesses must be licensed, and have all state and federal paperwork in place before they can legally operate.
When asked by a caller if there's a chance that the state's strict laws on concealed/open carry of handguns would be loosened, Christie's response included harsh criticism of a law involving smart guns.
Smart guns can only be fired by the owner. They exist, but they’re not yet sold commercially in the United States. On Monday. a New Jersey law co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) required retailers that sell guns to carry at least one smart gun in their inventory once they become available. Although Weinberg has said nobody has to purchase a smart gun if they don't want one, Republicans have stated that private business owners should not be told what they can and cannot sell.
When asked by a caller if there's any hope for New Jersey's open or concealed carry laws to be loosened in New Jersey, Christie referenced a recent smart gun legislation sponsored by Loretta Weinberg.
"Well who's she," he said of Weinberg. "I mean seriously, you own a gun store....your money, your business, and I'm coming into your business and telling you that you have to sell this type of gun, you need to carry it, you need pay for it to carry it and I don't care if anybody wants to buy it or not. I'm Loretta Weinberg. I say you have to carry it. Another person who thinks she's got some authority. With those types of people in the Legislature, it's unlikely you're going to get any statutory changes."
Christie said he doesn't think executive order is an option of lower threshold for open/concealed carry requirements.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.