NEWARK, N.J., Aug 8 (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely Republican contender for the White House in 2016, on Thursday signed into law 10 bills tightening restrictions on guns in the state.
The measures including banning the purchase of handguns by people on a federal watch list of potential terrorism suspects, stepping up penalties on some firearms violations and exempting gun records from the state’s open public records law.
The moves made New Jersey the latest northeastern state to tighten gun laws in the wake of a December school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 young students and educators dead and sparked a renewed debate on gun control.
“These common-sense measures will both strengthen New Jersey’s already tough gun laws and upgrade penalties for those who commit gun crimes and violate gun trafficking laws,” said Christie, who is expected to easily win reelection this year.
In a nod to public pressure from gun-rights activists, he held off on signing other proposed measures that would have banned .50-caliber rifles, required dealers to log ammunition sales and allowed for instant background checks.
Gun rights, which are protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, are a contentions issue on the national stage. A gun-rights group in New Hampshire – the site of a key presidential nominating primary where Christie would want to do well should he run for president – warned that it would organize voters against him if he were to crack down on gun owners in New Jersey.
“There are still three major anti-gun bills on Governor Christie’s desk, and we are watching,” said Sam Cohen, executive vice president of Pro Gun New Hampshire.
Gun control supporters in New Jersey said the signings represented a step forward.
“Seeing these bills signed into law is a victory for New Jersey’s communities,” said Louis Greenwald, majority leader of the state assembly. “Yet they do not go far enough in doing all we can to prevent gun-related tragedies from afflicting our families.”
Neighboring New York state and nearby Connecticut have recently tightened their already restrictive laws on gun ownership in the wake of the Newtown shooting.
Not all legislation aimed at guns this year will tighten restrictions. Illinois in July adopted a law allowing its residents to carry concealed guns, making it the last state in the nation to permit some form of possession of guns in public. (Editing by Scott Malone and Phil Berlowitz)
Top 10 Reasons We Need to Defeat Chris Christie
By Staff writer on
February 25, 2013
Speculation is already running rampant around the 2016 presidential race and we’ve barely had a chance to think about the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. But before those come to pass, there are a few big races in 2013 that you need to know about — including the race for governor in New Jersey.
Chris Christie is running for reelection, and we don’t need to tell you that what happens in this race could have major implications for the 2016 Republican primary, not to mention the general election.
This could be the year we stop Chris Christie in his tracks. He’s been a disaster as governor, especially for New Jersey women and their families. Here are the top 10 reasons we need to defeat Chris Christie this November.
10. Chris Christie Vetoed Same-Sex Marriage
With the tide in America turning against bigotry and discrimination, and in one of the most solidly blue states in the country, Christie vetoed a bill sent to him by both houses of the New Jersey legislature that would enshrine marriage equality into law.
9. Chris Christie Is No Friend to Workers
Christie has built himself a reputation as one of the most anti-union governors in the country, referring to public school teachers as “thugs” and supporting a bill that would “destroy collective bargaining.”
8. Chris Christie Doesn’t Believe in Universal Pre-K
Not only does Christie oppose government-funded preschool for every child in his state, he attacked his predecessor’s plan as “simply wrong” and called it “government babysit[ting].”
7. Chris Christie Misuses State Funds
At a cost of $2,500 an hour, Christie used a state helicopter for personal travel. Probably not the use taxpayers had in mind.
6. Chris Christie Supports the Ryan Budget
Paul Ryan’s proposed federal budget would end Medicare as we know it, but Christie joined ultraconservative governors like Texas’s Rick Perry, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell to tell Ryan that his budget was what “voters clearly asked for.”
5. Chris Christie Vetoed a Hike in the Minimum Wage
Just last month, Christie vetoed a bill passed by the legislature that would raise the minimum wage in New Jersey — a state with the third-highest cost of living in the nation — from $7.25 an hour to $8.50, and index it to the consumer price index so it grows with inflation. Christie proposed a smaller increase, phased in over more time, which would not be indexed.
4. Chris Christie Vetoed Equal Pay Legislation
Christie isn’t shy about much, and that includes the use of his veto pen. He vetoed three of four bills passed by the legislature designed to outlaw pay discrimination against women in the workplace and called them “senseless bureaucracy.”
3. Chris Christie Targeted Poor Families in His Budget
It’s no surprise that Christie is a fan of Paul Ryan’s budget once you look at his own. His budget cut aid for tuition, for a center for abused children, for legal services, and for transitional aid to some of New Jersey’s neediest communities. When asked about the cuts, he said “I don’t care.”
2. Chris Christie Cut Funding to Family Planning Organizations
Christie got out his veto pen again for a budget that would have given $7.5 million to family planning organizations in the state, including Planned Parenthood. He blocked attempts to restore the funding, even using a line-item veto specifically to target women’s health in New Jersey.
1. Chris Christie Is Proudly Anti-Choice
Christie has declared himself against the side of women’s reproductive rights and on the side of those who would deny them, saying “I am pro-life.”
We can’t trust Chris Christie, not in New Jersey, and certainly not in the White House. This November may be our best chance to stop his ambitions.