Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera – the lead sponsor of legislation to protect domestic violence victims from gun violence – released the following statement Thursday after the Assembly’s attempt to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of the bill failed:
“This is nothing short of an utter disgrace.
“To live with an abuser is to live in a daily state of fear. It’s the fear that comes with knowing that anything – a baby crying too loudly, a child innocently knocking over a vase, an attempt to call a friend for help – or, quite frankly, nothing at all, can be the trigger. To live with an abuser is to be a perpetual hostage in one’s own home.
“As the Assembly voted today, I remembered this fear, a feeling that robbed me of so much of my childhood as I watched my mother suffer in silence. When my colleagues sided with the governor and gun owners instead of women like her, my heart sank.
“In an abusive home, the presence of a gun makes it five times more likely that a bad situation will become a fatal one. We had an opportunity today to remove firearms from that equation. We had the chance to make sure women and children who are being abused every day, all across New Jersey could live. I simply am dumbfounded that the Assembly failed on implementing common-sense consequences to penalize those who have proven that they present a violent threat to the people closest to them.
“To me, this is not a political issue. It is a personal calling. This is a delay, not a defeat. I will continue to raise my voice until the Assembly acts on its duty to stand up for the people of New Jersey and ensure that no abuser has access to a gun,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester).
The main provisions of Mosquera’s bill (A-4218) would:
- Require domestic abusers to surrender their firearms while a domestic violence restraining order is in effect, or when they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense;
- Require an abuser’s firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be suspended during domestic violence restraining orders;
- Require an abuser’s firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be revoked if the individual is convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense; and
- Require cross-referencing of records to assist in determining whether an alleged domestic abuser owns a firearm in order to assist law enforcement’s ability to ensure that an abuser does not have access to firearms.
Among the changes proposed by Christie was a provision to make it quicker and easier for domestic violence victims to purchase a gun.