Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed eleven gun-control measures that were all passed by the state legislature in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. It did not take long for him to change his tune.
On late Friday, Christie vetoed a gun ban that he initially supported. The Democratic legislature from the state placed a ban on the sale of the Barrett.50 caliber sniper rifle, and called for anyone who currently owned one to turn it in. The governor felt that the confiscation of weapons “went too far,” he told The Washington Post.
Christie also dismantled a second part of the bill, which called for an overhaul of the state’s firearm permitting system. The idea was to link firearm purchases and law enforcement records in a digital smartcard system controlled by state police, Motor Vehicle Commission, mental health facilities and ammunition retailers, according to Fox News. Christie explained that the technology to put the bill into action was not yet in place.
“None of the technology necessary for the system exists,” Christie says. He went on to say that it was not available “now or for the foreseeable future.” The Christie veto was not a total loss though. Mental health providers can inquire about gun ownership. Also, when children kill with their parents’ guns, the parents will be held responsible.
Christie’s gun ban veto drew heavy criticism from gun control advocates. State Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D) told the Post that the ban was to keep highly destructive firearms away from criminals. She went on to say Christie vetoed the gun ban to placate his right-wing constituents.
“Tellingly, the Legislature points to no instance of this class of firearms being used by a single criminal in New Jersey,” Christie tells Fox.
Did Christie do the right thing by vetoing the gun bill? Should the excluded parts have been included?
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