People are passionate when the issue is personal. Such is the case for New Jersey Assemblywoman Gabriela 'Gabby' Mosquera (D-Turnersville) who led the charge to pass legislation to keep guns away from domestic violence abusers.

(JOHN GOMEZ, ThinkStock)

Mosquera has seen domestic violence first-hand. She recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in an hour-long panel discussion titled, "Domestic Abuse and Gun Violence: Progress in the States and the Need for Congressional Action."

"I wouldn't say I personally am a survivor. I'm going to quote myself as a child survivor of domestic violence. My mother is a survivor of domestic violence," Mosquera said. "It's something that I carry in the forefront of my mind every day that I'm passionate about this issue because every victim of domestic violence who I see is my mom."

Legislation (A-4218) co-sponsored by Mosquera to strengthen New Jersey's gun laws and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence was approved by both houses of the legislature on June 25. Gov. Chris Christie has not yet taken action on the measure.

The bill would:

  • Require domestic abusers to surrender their firearms while a domestic violence restraining order is in effect, or when they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense;
  • Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to buy a handgun to be suspended during domestic violence restraining orders;
  • Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to be revoked if the person is convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense; and
  • Require cross-referencing of records to help determine whether an alleged domestic abuser owns a firearm in order to enable police law to be sure that an abuser doesn't have access to firearms.

"We need to let people know that there is violence against women and that violence has to stop and it has to stop now," Mosquera said during the panel discussion.

The assemblywoman also spoke in support of bipartisan federal legislation to address the connections between domestic abuse and gun violence and the progress made in several states to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence.

Other sponsors of the New Jersey bill are Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) and assembly members Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Dan Benson (D-Hamilton Sq.), Pamela Lampitt (D-Voorhees) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood).

"Study after study tells us that domestic violence and firearms are a deadly combination, but these numbers are not just statistics," said Greenwald in a press release statement. "They represent real lives that have been shattered. We're taking this issue head-on and strengthening our gun laws to save those lives."

By: (Kevin McArdle)