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Christie Forms Gun Violence Task Force [VIDEO]

Gov. Chris Christie is refusing to take a position on President Barack Obama’s call for a federal ban on assault weapons.

FULL COVERAGE: Gun Control Debate

Governor Christie's press conference
Governor Christie’s press conference (Livestream)

The governor was asked several times at a Statehouse news conference Thursday to weigh in on Obama’s proposals for bans on assault weapons and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

Christie chose not to take a stand. He says he has no influence over what Congress and the president decide.

He says New Jersey is taking a more deliberative approach to gun control, mental health and school security by forming a task force headed up by Attorney General Jeff Chiesa study the issues and make recommendations within 60 days.

New Jersey has had an assault weapons ban in place for 21 years, and Christie says he supports state gun laws already on the books.

The Governor’s comments come a day after President Obama laid out his gun control proposals at a White House ceremony. He told a questioner at Wednesday’s town hall meeting in Manahawkin that assault weapons have been banned in the state for 21 years.

Christie said New Jersey has the third-toughest gun laws in the country, behind New York and California.

New Jersey requires background checks in private gun sales and bans ammunition magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds. President Barack Obama has proposed a 10-round limit nationally.

In a series of TV interviews last week following his State Of The State address did not directly answer whether he would support a federal assault weapon ban and believes that the gun control debate should include the mental health system, improving access to drug treatment and the impact of violent video games. He resisted Today Show host Matt Lauer’s attempt to pigeon-hole him into a straight up “yes or no” answer about a ban on assault weapons calling such an attempt “political” during a short interview.

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