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NJ Gun Control Debate Heats Up in July [AUDIO]

If people aren’t safe just blocks away from where Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey legislature conduct business, how safe do you think you are in your town?

Trenton Police investigate a shooting in Villa Park
Trenton Police investigate a shooting in Villa Park (Brian McCarthy)

There have already been 23 murders in Trenton this year. In all of 2012, there were 24 homicides in the Capitol City. The lawmakers representing Trenton are calling on Christie to take action on gun control bills.

“I’m also concerned about for the citizens of other municipalities whether or not they’re the urban municipalities,” says Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “There’s no natural border that prevents this violence from seeping into other communities……This issue and this movement is about safety and security in every one of our communities.”

Citing the escalating gun violence in Trenton, Watson Coleman is joined by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora in demanding that Christie take action on pending gun violence prevention legislation.

“During the first six months of the year, 120 people were shot and 15 of them were killed. How many more people must die, and for how much longer must neighborhoods be terrorized before the governor decides to help?” asks Gusciora. “We realize these bills will not end all gun violence, but doing nothing is not an option.”

The bills Watson Coleman and Gusciora are calling for Christie to act on:

· Require law enforcement to report certain firearms information to interjurisdictional electronic databases, including the NIBIN; requires State Police to report certain firearms trace data for use in Uniform Crime Report.

· Clarifies that motor vehicles used in firearms trafficking are subject to seizure and forfeiture.

· Upgrades penalty on licensed dealers for knowingly selling to one who intends to transfer to an ineligible person (straw purchase).

· Require a current background check be conducted by a federally licensed dealer for (nearly) all private sales; will require FID (for long-gun ammo) and PPH (for handgun ammo) for all ammo purchases; all online ammo purchase info shall be reported electronically in real-time.

In an emailed response to a request seeking comment, a Christie spokesman wrote, “In April, Governor Christie proposed his own comprehensive and responsible plan to reduce gun violence and help keep our streets and state safe. He will review the bills passed by the legislature, and announce a decision within the allotted 45 days.”

The New Jersey Second Amendment Society and the Firearms Policy Coalition have joined together asking people to urge Christie to veto the legislation and those who do stand a chance to win a free gun. More information is available online.

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