Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin and Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly today participated in a White House forum on gun safety laws, convened by the newly formed Office of Gun Violence Prevention and led by Vice President Kamala Harris. State legislative leaders from across the country were invited to share their experiences passing gun safety laws and to discuss strategy for the nationwide effort to prevent gun violence as part of the White House’s Safer States Agenda.
“I am very proud of our record in New Jersey, leading the nation in passing and defending common sense gun safety laws, which are among the strictest in the country,” said Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “President Biden and Vice President Harris broke new ground when they formed the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. It was an honor to be invited to the White House and it was inspiring to engage with so many legislative leaders from other states who are standing up to tackle this issue in innovative ways. All of us are grateful for the courage and tenacity of advocates and gun violence survivors who have built such a strong movement for change.”
As part of today’s event, Speaker Coughlin participated in a panel discussion led by Greg Jackson, Deputy Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Speaker Coughlin discussed how the state legislature worked with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office and local law enforcement to find the best ways to increase the number of resources and, importantly, the accessibility of resources for victims of gun violence. California State Senator Aisha Webb and Minnesota Rep. Kelly Moller also spoke on the panel.
New Jersey’s gun safety legislation includes an assault weapons ban, comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, protective orders against gun ownership by those convicted of domestic violence, restrictions for straw purchasing of firearms, and most recently, New Jersey’s landmark legislation to prohibit the carrying of firearms in hospitals, playgrounds, daycare centers, bars, and other sensitive areas.
“It was an honor to represent the General Assembly with Speaker Coughlin today at the White House Legislative Convening on Gun Control,” said Assemblyman Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Forums like this are particularly important to cities like Paterson, which is plagued with gun violence, so that we can continue to reform our gun safety laws and stop precious lives from being senselessly taken far too soon.”