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Everytown, New Jersey Moms and Mayors Applaud Lawmakers for Passing Life-Saving Domestic Violence Legislation with Bi-Partisan Approval; Urge Governor to Sign Quickly

June 25, 2015

Today: New Jersey Legislature Passes Legislation Requiring Abusers to Turn In Their Guns (S2786 and A4218)
Moms, Mayors, Advocates Call on Governor Christie to Sign Life-Saving Bill Into Law

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, applauds lawmakers for passing S2786 and A4218 with bi-partisan approval, legislation sponsored by Senator Weinberg and Assemblywoman Mosquera respectively, requiring domestic abusers to turn in their guns to law enforcement once they have become prohibited from having them. The bill heads next to Governor Chris Christie’s desk for signature.

The votes come on the heels of a press conference earlier today where Moms joined Senator Weinberg, Assemblywoman Mosquera, Suzanne Groisser of the Rachel Coalition and Hopewell Mayor Paul Anzano of the New Jersey coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to call on lawmakers to pass this life-saving legislation and urge Governor Chris Christie to move quickly to sign this bill into law.

In her remarks this morning Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg stated, “We have to do more to protect the lives of women and children. Since we know that having a gun in the home increases the likelihood that a domestic violence situation will result in a tragedy, it is imperative that we act. By imposing stronger laws that limit abusers’ access to firearms we will better protect victims against preventable and, too often, fatal gun violence.”

“This legislation will close a loop hole in our existing law, which, although well-intentioned, still falls short of offering real protections for victims of domestic violence,” said Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera. “I’m extremely proud to see so many advocates and moms rally behind this legislation for the sake of women and their families throughout New Jersey. It’s proof positive that there is strength in numbers. I hope the governor will see how important this legislation is to so many and see fit to make sure it becomes law.”

Recent polling shows that 82 percent of New Jersey voters support requiring domestic abusers to turn in their guns to law enforcement after they become prohibited from having them. This overwhelming support includes 78 percent of gun owners and is consistent throughout the state.[1]

“On behalf of the over 70,000 members of Moms Demand Action in New Jersey, we want to thank our lawmakers for listening to the 82 percent of New Jersey voters who support requiring domestic abusers to turn in their guns and voting to pass this life-saving legislation,” said Brett Sabo, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Moms were back in Trenton again today showing our support for S2786 and A4218, legislation that really does protect our New Jersey women and families. We urge Governor Christie to move quickly to sign this bill into law.”

Under New Jersey state law, domestic abusers are prohibited from having guns if they are subject to a final restraining order or are convicted of a domestic violence offense or crime. But the law does not require these abusers turn in the guns they already own, which means that a prohibited abuser can go directly home from court and use the guns he has in his possession to harm an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend.

S2786 and A4218 close this dangerous loophole in New Jersey law by requiring that every time a person is convicted of domestic violence or becomes subject to a final domestic violence restraining order, he must turn in any guns he owns.

“We applaud the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, especially Senator Weinberg and Assemblywoman Mosquera, for the passage of this lifesaving bill,” said Suzanne Groisser, Coordinator of Legal Services for the Rachel Coalition. “S2786 /AB 4218 strengthens the protections offered to victims by helping keep guns out of the hands of their abusers. Domestic violence is a public health epidemic and this bill takes a vital step at addressing this problem and protecting the victims and their children.”

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