Activists and two legislators who represent the violence plagued city of Trenton are calling on Gov. Chris Christie to return home and immediately sign into law a package of gun control bills.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Christie is currently in Colorado where he’s attending the Republican Governors Association conference.

This year there have been 23 murders in the Capitol City, many of them gun-related. Trenton saw a total of 24 homicides in all of 2012.

“We are asking him (Christie) today, come back from wherever you are in this country right now and sign these bills,” said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “Our Governor needs to be focusing right here, right here in New Jersey getting guns and ammunition off our streets in our city and in this state.”

The bills Watson Coleman and her colleague, Assemblyman Reed 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.

“We realize these bills will not end all gun violence, but doing nothing is not an option. How we keep and maintain our homes is a reflection of who we are,” said Gusciora. “The fact that this is happening in our own backyard, and the governor is stalling on legislation that could help control this pervasive problem speaks volumes.”

In an e-mailed 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.”

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