TRENTON – Democratic legislative leaders expressed disappointment that Gov. Chris Christie had conditionally or absolutely vetoed several firearms bills Friday.
New Jersey Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald said that “Today is a dark day for New Jersey. With the stroke of his veto pen, Chris Christie has put New Jersey communities at risk of serious gun violence.
“In rejecting stronger background checks, Chris Christie has put his national political ambitions ahead of protecting New Jersey’s families from being ripped apart by senseless gun violence. The governor’s actions today are truly shameful.”
Speaker Sheila Oliver said that in particular, his veto of the bill that would have banned .50-caliber weapons was wrong.
“Banning these battlefield-style weapons was designed to keep these highly destructive firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals and terrorists. Weaponry designed for the battlefield, that serves no legitimate civilian use, should not be landing on our streets,” she said in a statement.
“Instead the governor has shunned this notion and bowed to the pressure of right wing conservatives,” Oliver said. “The governor’s vetoes today demonstrate a failure in leadership. Instead of doing what’s right for New Jersey, he bowed to the pressures of his political party.”
However, Republicans applauded his signing of a bill that creates a school security task force.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said that “It is extremely important to look at ways to reduce violence in our schools. I laud the governor’s signing of this legislation.
“The task force will be comprised by members with a range of expertise and philosophical backgrounds. I am confident they will offer solutions that will prevent violence in our schools and make New Jersey safer for our students and faculty.”