NJ Bans Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns

NJ Bans Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns
The measure did nothing to speed up the process for abuse victims to obtain guns for their own protection. photo from nj.comweb photo

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a proposal into law Monday that tightens the state's strict gun laws, with the focus on those under restraining orders and those convicted of domestic violence offenses.

According to this story from nj.com, Christie approved it seven months after the Democratic-controlled Legislature threatened to override his May veto of a similar bill that had broad bipartisan support.

Bill S2483, which you can read here, prohibits people convicted of a domestic violence crime or subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm. It requires anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime to sell or surrender their firearms, the story says.

"Survivors of domestic violence will be safer than ever before," Christie said in the story.

Christie said on Monday he supported the reworked version of the bill that he had vetoed in May because it added a provision that increases criminal penalties for offenses, including maximums for repeat offenders, that he “urged” lawmakers to adopt, the story says.

But the measure does not accelerate the process for abuse victims to obtain guns for their own protection, a move that Christie had supported.

The NJ governor has a mixed past when it comes to gun legislation, sometimes falling on the gun control side, like when he proposed banning the sale of .50-caliber rifles in the state after the Newtown, Connecticut shooting in 2012.

Before launching his ill-fated presidential campaign last year, Christie told NJ residents that he would have loosed gun laws if he'd had a Republican Legislature. He attempted to loosen the state's severe concealed carry permit restrictions through a change of regulations, a move which was recently blocked by the state Legislature.

Christie has often cited the murder case of Carol Bowne, a New Jersey woman who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2015, as a representative case against the state's draconian gun laws. At the time, Bowne had a protective order against Michael Eitel and was waiting for her local police department to approve a permit that would allow her to buy a firearm. Eitel stabbed her to death in her own driveway on June 3.