Assembly passes gun control measures; some say it's too quick - NBC40.net

Assembly passes gun control measures; some say it's too quick

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE -

Governor Christie reacted Thursday to the discussion and eventual passing of 22 bills in the State Assembly geared towards ending gun violence.

"It's a first step, the Senate has to consider those things then I have to consider them," the Governor said while speaking in Sea Bright, Monmouth County.

The bills focus on limiting ammunition sales and strengthening background checks for gun buyers.  Proponents say the bills will help curb gun violence, but some lawmakers fear they don't touch on the right issues.

"The total picture goes much further than bills created to restrict gun sales and take guns out of law abiding citizen's hands. We need to look at mental health issues," said Republican Assemblyman John Amodeo, of the 2nd District.

Both Governor Christie and Assemblyman Amodeo say they are surprised at how quickly the bills went from committee hearings to the Assembly floor.  Assemblyman Amodeo says some of the bills actually weaken or duplicate some of New Jersey's already strict gun laws, and a more thorough approach may be needed.

"Perfect the bills, and put a package together, not 22 separate bills, put a package together that represents what the people of the state of New Jersey need to protect their citizens."

Meanwhile, at Just Sport Sporting Goods in Cape May Courthouse, the staff says criminals ignore the law anyway, and see the tighter laws only hurting honest citizens.

"We as civilian, honest population, we're the losers," said store owner Bud Dunham, "we cant even sell you a gun unless you do a same day search of your background. Its called the national instant check system. So a legitimate gun buyer, who is all we deal with, has already been over and over checked."

And like some in the Assembly, staff believes the bills will miss what they see as the real problem.

"They just don't jump off our shelves and shoot people. They have to be handled by evil people and we're not recognizing that effect," said Dunham.

The bills will now make their way to the State Senate, and eventually the Governor, as the gun debate nationally, and locally, continues.

"Whatever comes to my desk, I'll give it due consideration at the appropriate time," said Governor Christie.

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