Christie: Balance need for security with rights of law-abiding gun owners

TRENTON – One of the bills Gov. Chris Christie signed into law today deals with keeping guns out of the hands of those on the Terrorist Watch List.

In signing A3687, Christie talked in an accompanying statement about the need to balance national security needs with a desire to ensure law-abiding citizens are not improperly implicated with wrongdoing.

He said that “To the extent that this bill will keep guns out of the hands of known terrorists, or those who have taken active steps to support terrorist activities, my signature on this bill represents my commitment to keeping the citizens of New Jersey safe. Our diligence against terrorism must never fade.”

He referenced his prior role in law enforcement.

“As a former federal prosecutor, I understand the obligation of government to ensure the safety and security of its people. However, in carrying out that task, the government must be circumspect in its application of the law. There is little room for mistakes since they may harm the innocent and law abiding.

“Further, when positive matches are identified through background checks performed by the FBI, field agents from numerous groups coordinate and investigate those ‘hits’ to determine their accuracy. Nevertheless, some have expressed concerns with this bill based on the reliability and accuracy of background check information provided to law enforcement officers by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I believe that federal elected officials must continue to ensure that federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering entities constantly strive to improve the levels of accuracy and reliability in terrorist screening databases.

“Therefore, as I sign Assembly Bill No. 3687 into law, I urge Congress to take steps to ensure that law-abiding American citizens are never swept into these databases.”

Christie: Balance need for security with rights of law-abiding gun owners