TRENTON – Legislative leaders weighed in Friday on the package of gun control proposals released by Gov. Chris Christie.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver said the lower chamber will take a close look at the initiatives he unveiled.
“We will certainly take a close look at these proposals,” she said in a release.
“As the Governor said, the Assembly has already passed an anti-gun violence package and that should be considered in concert with the plans laid out today. If there are some worthwhile concepts we will certainly consider them. My concern with the Governor’s plan at this point is not so much what’s in it, but what may not be.
“One area that particularly concerns me is the Governor’s notion that ‘most of the debate surrounding this issue should be about how we deal with criminals.’ While I don’t disagree that we need to have the strictest penalties in place for those who commit gun crimes, the fact of the matter is that dealing with these criminals is what happens after 20 school children are killed or after a movie theater is shot up. We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to prevent getting to that point period.”
Assembly member Sean Kean, R-30, Wall, supported the proposals unveiled by Christie.
“Violence is a problem that has increasingly permeated our society like a cancer,” he said. “The prudent proposals Governor Christie outlined today are necessary and practical if we are to be successful in protecting our citizens.
“Certainly mental health screening and treatment services must be part of the equation as must the regulation of video games as studies have shown a correlation between the games and aggressive behavior. The governor is to be commended for taking an inclusive, sensible approach to addressing this difficult issue.”
Kean pointed out he has sponsored legislation to prevent minors from purchasing “mature” or “adults only” rated video games.
A3987 prohibits the sale of any video game with an Entertainment Software Rating Board of “mature” or “adults only” to a person under the age of 18. A violation carries a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense.
Under A3988, minors would be permitted to purchase video games containing mature and adult content only if their parent or guardian is present during the purchase and gives their consent verbally or in writing at the time of the sale. Penalties for any violations are the same as with the first bill.