Gov. Chris Christie says he is making a "comonsense" change to New Jersey's gun laws with an executive order that would ease the application process for domestic violence victims.

A customer shops for a handgun in a gun store
A customer shops for a handgun in a gun store (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Executive order #180 was filed Monday night on the eve of his expected announcement of a run for President in 2016. The bill would cut the review and processing of an application in half from 30 days to 14 days for someone who was the victim of violence or threatened with a deadly weapon and there is a distinct possibility another incident will occur.

“I have always said that when there are sensible changes to improve our laws and the fair administration of justice, I will take action, and that is what I am doing today," Christie said in a statement. The Constitution grants and our courts have affirmed the individual right to bear arms as a fundamental right, and that is all the more important for those who are victims of violence or under threat,” said Governor Christie.  “This commonsense step will protect the rights of victims and people at risk of violent acts by giving them priority, while ensuring the core protections of the permitting process remain fully in effect.”

Christie took the action as a result of the murder of Carol Bowne, a Berlin woman who had applied for a gun license on April 21. Police said they were waiting for fingerprint information when she checked on the application on June 1. Bowne was stabbed to death in her driveway on June 3, apparently by her ex-boyfriend who was later found hanged to death in the garage of an ex-girlfriend.

The death spurred the New Jersey Second Amendment Society to protest in front of the home of state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) claiming that Sweeney will not allow legislation to change state gun laws because of his personal beliefs.

Christie's executive order will create the New Jersey Firearm Purchase and Permitting Study Commission to review New Jersey's gun laws and the ownership and possession of firearms. He will appoint 3 members "with experience in law enforcement and/or criminal law" to serve on the commission.


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