McKeon: Buying Back Our Safety

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D-Essex) had the following published recently in the Newark Star-Ledger:

“…why is it that three out of every 100,000 Americans will die of a gun-related act each year, when 0.2 per every 100,000 citizens of the remaining 22 industrialized nations will have a similar fate? Why is it that the rate of American gun-related homicides are 15 times higher than any large wealthy nation?

“New Jersey is a progressive state as it relates to regulating weapons that are most likely to inflict mass casualties. We are one of seven States to ban assault weapons and limit ammunition clips, and one of 11 States that mandate a seven-day waiting period before making legal firearm purchases. Yet, recently outlawing 50-caliber rifles capable of shooting a helicopter out of the sky could not escape a veto or muster any votes for an override.

“We know from experience that amnesty — the return of illegal guns and buyback programs — is effective at taking thousands of weapons off our streets. In the period between December 2012 and April 2013, State officials and local authorities collected a record 9,000 firearms, including rocket launchers, assault weapons, and submachine guns.

“However, the frequency and scope of these programs are neither mandated nor permanently funded. Legislation which would substantially increase these buyback programs was unanimously approved in a bipartisan vote by the Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this year…”

To read the rest of Assemblyman McKeon’s op-ed, click here.