STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 11, 2013
Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD
District 6 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblywoman SHEILA Y. OLIVER
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman REED GUSCIORA
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Assemblyman ANGEL FUENTES
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Assemblywoman LINDA STENDER
District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)
Urges President and Congress of United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Concurrent Resolution memorializing Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures.
Whereas, With all due respect to the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the United States Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), in recent years the United States has been witness to several horrific and preventable firearms related mass tragedies which have heightened awareness of the danger that exists when adequate protections are not utilized to ensure that only responsible gun owners have access to firearms; and
Whereas, More Americans have been killed by guns since 1968 than have died in all the United States wars combined, beginning with the Revolutionary War; and
Whereas, In 2007, a student killed 33 people and injured 25 more during a shooting spree on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic University; and
Whereas, Since 2010, there have been 57 deaths and 35 additional injuries caused by firearms in schools throughout the nation; and
Whereas, In 2011, a lone shooter killed six people, including a nine-year old child, and injured thirteen others, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in a supermarket parking lot outside Tucson, Arizona; and
Whereas, In 2012 alone, there were seven mass shootings in America, resulting in a total of 72 deaths and 68 other injuries; and
Whereas, In almost all of these mass shootings, there were prior signs of possible mental illness; and
Whereas, The firearms used in these mass shootings had been legally obtained in all but one case; and
Whereas, Each of the gunmen in these attacks carried at least one semiautomatic handgun; and
Whereas, The shooters of these seven attacks were armed with a total of eight semiautomatic handguns, two assault weapons, and two shotguns; and
Whereas, On Friday, July 20, 2012, a man opened gunfire on a packed movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others; and
Whereas, On December 14, 2012, 20 school children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by an armed gunman in an unimaginable tragedy; and
Whereas, These incidents have led parents and educators to seek answers regarding how to best protect our innocent children from such atrocities at school; and
Whereas, College presidents are calling for stricter gun safety, noting that in 2010, 2,694 young people were killed by gunfire, 1,773 were victims of homicide, and 67 were elementary school children; and
Whereas, Congress allowed the 1994 federal ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices to expire in 2004 even though these weapons cause devastating wounds and penetrate body armor, are the "weapon of choice" for drug traffickers, weapons traffickers, gangs, and paramilitary extremist groups, and have led to the deaths of one in five police officers killed in the line of duty between 1998 and 2001; and
Whereas, Weaknesses in this nation’s gun laws have resulted in a clear and imminent danger to its citizens; and
Whereas, President Obama announced a package of new gun control initiatives on January 16, 2013, including 23 executive actions and a set of proposed Congressional actions; and
Whereas, The proposed legislative package would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, including gun show sales, reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban, limit ammunition magazines, ban armor-piercing bullets for civilians, require federal law enforcement agencies to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, and enhance mental health programs for the youth of America, among other measures; and
Whereas, It is clear that these measures proposed by President Obama are necessary in order to restore the public safety and prevent further deaths by firearms; and
Whereas, It is therefore fitting and proper that the United States Congress and President act quickly to protect our nation’s children and other citizens from further danger of gun violence; now therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey (the Senate concurring):
1. The Legislature of the State of New Jersey respectfully memorializes Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures as set forth by President Obama on January 16, 2013, such as requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, including gun show sales, reinstating and strengthening the assault weapon ban, limiting ammunition magazines, banning armor-piercing bullets for civilians, requiring federal law enforcement agencies to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, and enhancing mental health programs for the youth of America.
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, shall be transmitted to the President and Vice President of the United States, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the chairs of the appropriate standing committees of Congress, and every member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation.
This resolution would memorialize Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation enforcing stricter firearms control measures as set forth by President Obama on January 16, 2013. Such measures include requiring criminal background checks for gun show sales, reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines, banning armor-piercing bullets for civilians, requiring federal law enforcement agencies to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations, and enhancing mental health programs for the youth of America.
The resolution cites overwhelming evidence of the need for stricter gun control measures, including statistics of recent school and other mass shootings.