NJ Politics Digest: Congressman Shoots Down Calls for Gun Ban

U.S. Representative Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.). Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

New Jersey Congressman Tom MacArthur told The Asbury Park Press Tuesday more gun control measures were not needed in the wake of the school shooting in Florida that killed 17 children and warned that such talk of banning weapons that are currently legal instigates civil unrest among gun owners.

“That will never fly in this country,” MacArthur, who has a 93 percent rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), told the paper.

MacArthur has opposed measures making it more difficult for those with mental illness to pass gun background checks. But on Tuesday he said he supports strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to the report.

MacArthur, appearing at a roundtable discussion on gun safety, said he also was exploring measures to place armed guards in every school and hospital. That protection might also be extended to churches, too, the paper reported.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday called a press conference to assure parents his administration is doing what it can to protect students and said the state—which already has some of the strictest gun measures in the country—is moving ahead with efforts for even tighter controls.

These include legislation reducing allowed magazine size, banning the sale of body-armor piercing bullets, requiring background checks for private gun sales and banning the sale of .50-caliber assault rifles.

Many of these measures had been vetoed by former Gov. Chris Christie.

Quote of the Day: “It pains me to say this, but it seems as if the federal government, with regard to the northeastern states, is a hostile foreign power as opposed to a partner in this.” — State Sen. Robert Gordon, on the Trump administration’s refusal to contribute significantly to the cost of a proposed rail tunnel to Manhattan.

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