Arguing for tougher laws, Lautenberg criticizes Christie’s response to massacres

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ELIZABETH – Standing on the steps of City Hall here and flanked by other elected officials, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) took umbrage with Gov. Chris Christie’s response to back to back shootings in America, the latest Sunday at a Wisconsin house of worship that left six innocents dead.

“It’s sad to see our governor say that those working to prevent gun violence are grandstanding,” said the senator. “This guy knows what grandstanding is.

“The governor doesn’t think the federal government should have a role,” Lautenberg said. “They (guns) come from other states. I’ve proposed two bills, one banning high capacity magazines and the other ammo sales.”

Following the Aurora killings last month, Christie eschewed the idea of new national gun laws and added, “Can we take a deep breath before politicians start sending out press releases? Can we allow the people to be mourned appropriately by their families before you have opportunistic politicians out there trying to make political points in an election year?”

Last year, Lautenberg introduced legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. He is also the author of two bills aimed at closing loopholes in U.S. law—the “gun show loophole” and the “Terror Gap.”

“While we mourn those lost and injured in these senseless shootings, we must turn our grief into action,” said Lautenberg. “Now is the time to put common-sense solutions in place and stop the killing.  We owe our communities sensible reforms so murderers and terrorists can’t create stockpiles of high-capacity magazines and ammunition without  raising red flags.”

Lautenberg noted increased violent crime in New Jersey’s cities, including Trenton, Camden and Newark.

“I don’t hear the governor complain about that,” said the senator.

Running for re-election this year, Menendez is on the record in support of stronger federal gun laws.

“How many more husbands and wives?” the senator demanded from the steps of City Hall. “How many more sons and daughters must we lose? I think the time has come.”

In the aftermath of the Aurora shootings, President Barack Obama said he didn’t think America needs any new gun laws. Monday, following the Wisconsin killings the president acknowledged a time for national soul-searching. 

Today, a reporter asked the Democratic senators if they thought the president needs to step up his advocacy for greater gun control. Lautenberg said the president has sufficiently demonstrated his dedication to the cause.

Arguing for tougher laws, Lautenberg criticizes Christie’s response to massacres