(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Lou Greenwald, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to strengthen New Jersey’s gun laws and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence was released Monday by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
“For victims and their children, domestic violence turns a chance to live the American Dream into a horrific nightmare. I know, because I’ve lived that nightmare,” said Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Too many victims are killed at the hands of abusers who have easy access to firearms, before they ever have a chance to get out. This legislation will change that – strengthening our gun violence laws in order to protect victims of domestic violence.”
Mosquera issued a multimedia package in which she discusses her legislation.
The multimedia package consists of Mosquera’s commentary and audio and a transcript of same.
A clean copy of the audio file is available upon request.
A copy of the transcript is appended to the end of this release.
Among other provisions, the 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.
“Study after study tells us that domestic violence and firearms are a deadly combination,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “But these numbers are not just statistics. They represent real lives that have been shattered. We’re taking this issue head-on and strengthening our gun laws to save those lives.”
“We clearly need to do more to combat the scourge of domestic violence,” Lagana said. “Domestic violence and guns are a frightening mix. We cannot stand idle while simple steps such as these can help protect women and children trapped in abusive situations. Keeping guns away from abusers will, quite simply, save lives.”
“Violent individuals are already dangerous. Put a gun in their hands and the threat to their victims is that much greater,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “More than half of all murders of women in this country are committed with a gun. A person who has no misgivings about berating and physically assaulting another person cannot and should not be trusted to be responsible with a gun.”
“Many women stay in abusive relationships out of fear that something worse may happen to them or their children if they try to escape. Given that abused women are five times more likely to be killed by their abuser if the abuser has access to a firearm, that fear is very real,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “These restrictions can help prevent a bad situation from becoming fatal.”
“Guns and violent behavior are a lethal combination,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Fatal violence against women is most often domestic violence. And the most common weapon used by men to kill women is a gun. This bill ensures that individuals who have shown a propensity for violence against women are prohibited from carrying guns and inflicting further damage to his victims.”
Assemblywoman Gabriela M. Mosquera (D-Gloucester), Assembly Women and Children Committee Vice-Chair:
“The purpose of this legislation is to get the firearms away from abusers.
“This is extremely personal. My mom is a survivor of domestic violence, so I take this very seriously.
“A woman who lives in a home where there is a firearm is five times more likely to be killed by her intimate partner.
“So, what this bill is, and the intent of this bill is very simple. It’s just taking those firearms away from individuals that have propensity to abuse individuals. And they have to know that there is a deep consequence for, for that.
“This is not about a guns rights issue. It’s about protecting individuals and victims of domestic violence. This is something that needs to be addressed, not only in the State of New Jersey, but around the nation.”