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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Office of the Governor
Office of Constituent Relations
Post Office Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001


September 10, 2013

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns regarding gun control legislation. I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue.

As is widely known, New Jersey already has the second strictest gun laws in the United States as recognized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Controlling violence in our communities, however, demands that we continue to evaluate our laws to make certain that fundamental rights and public safety are equally respected. To that end, in early 2013, the NJ SAFE Task Force provided recommendations that served as the foundation for my comprehensive and common sense plan to address the factors contributing to violence; including mental health issues, influence of video game violence in our society as well as bolstering criminal penalties for gun crimes and ending the revolving door of bail for the most serious and dangerous offenders.

Given the Task Force's recommendations and the Legislature's calls for action, it was reasonable to anticipate swift passage of my proposals. Unfortunately, the Legislature instead embarked on a different course – focusing strictly on gun control instead of examining the issue of violence in a comprehensive manner. The Legislature passed several measures, and I have taken action on most of them.

Senate Bill No. 2723 sought to impose an entirely new regulatory system on the lawful ownership of firearms. At the centerpiece of this bill is digital purchase cards, which would link all firearms permits and records regarding gun ownership into a digital card designed and maintained by certain state agencies and local law enforcement and other entities such as firearms and ammunition retailers. While the vision of a seamless integration of myriad public and private data onto a single "smartcard" is admirable, the Attorney General, the Superintendent of the State Police, and the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission all note that the "smartcard" called for by S-2723 cannot be implemented now, or any time in the foreseeable future, due to the lack of technology required to implement this program. It is instead to be designed, coordinated, tested, and implemented by the government without a single dollar of fiscal appropriation. Nor does the bill explain how the substantial investment in technology by firearms' dealers is to be financed. While other parts of the bill are laudable, I conditionally vetoed this measure on August 16th.

I vetoed Assembly Bill No. 3659, which would have revised the definition of "destructive device" to include weapons of .50 caliber or greater, or any weapon capable of attaining a muzzle energy of 12,000 foot/pounds. This goes well beyond any recommendations of the NJ SAFE Task Force and would instead criminalize the ownership of a whole class of firearms. Indeed, this legislation would ban many of the firearms currently and lawfully used by competitive marksmen for long-range precision target shooting that, due to their size and weight, are not used by criminals. The wide scope of this total ban, therefore, will not further public safety, but only interfere with lawful recreational pastimes. Moreover, while the bill purports to allow current owners of these guns to continue their possession, drafting errors in the bill actually eliminate all lawful possession of the firearms in this classification. As a result, I am advised by the Office of the Attorney General that A-3659 would instead impose criminal liability on all current owners of these weapons, including those individuals who had properly registered their guns with law enforcement officials. As Governor, and the former chief federal prosecutor for our State, I recognize that the threats to our safety and security demand vigilance, deterrence, and a tireless enforcement of our criminal laws. This bill, however, will not further our collective fight against crime, but serve only to confuse law-abiding gun owners with the threat of imprisonment for lawful recreation. I cannot approve of that result.

With regard to Assembly Bill No. 3797, which deals with reporting by the State Police to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, I conditionally vetoed the bill to avoid unnecessary conflicts with our federal partners in the war on crime. Without question, submitting crime gun and abandoned gun information to the federal government is effective and enhances efforts to combat gun trafficking and we will continue to do just that even without this bill. Equally clear, however, is the need to make sure that our laws work in harmony with the requirements of federal standards. To ensure that result, I recommended a slight modification to A-3797 to conform with federal law. As currently drafted, this bill would require the Superintendent of State Police to issue various reports that publically disclose firearms trace data received from the ATF. This reporting requirement extends to data previously provided by the federal government, data currently in the possession of law enforcement, and all future data received. According to the Office of the Attorney General, that requirement violates federal law, which prohibits the knowing and public disclosure of ATF trace data information that law enforcement entities receive by virtue of their participation in the ATF firearms trace system database program.

Although I have vetoed these bills, I made a promise to the people of New Jersey that I would work across the aisle to make our State safer for everyone. To that end, I have signed 11 common sense bills that do just that. These measures represent a broad range of solutions. For example, I signed Assembly Bill No. 3583, establishing the School Security Task Force. It will be a 11-member body comprised of people from the educational, security, and law enforcement community, as well as the general public that will study and develop recommendations for improving school security and safety, and ensuring a safe learning environment for students and school employees. I have also signed bills that will enhance penalties for various firearms offenses, such as the illegal possession of a firearm and unlawfully transferring a firearm to an underage person.

Responsibility has always been the hallmark of our Second Amendment guarantees. I reiterate my commitment to common sense solutions to the problems of violence in our State. We should focus our collective efforts on causes, not just effects. Thank you again for writing.


Chris Christie


· Premium Member
145 Posts
HERE IS A RESPONSE from the New Jersey 2A Society:

New Jersey --( Since Governor Christie rarely if ever refers to me as “Dear Friend”, I will assume that most of you received a copy of the same “confidential” email letter as I did.
However, since it was marked as confidential, I will not reprint it here. My response, on the other hand is NOT confidential. You may reproduce it as you see fit.
Dear Governor Christie,
With all due respect, in the state of New Jersey the average law-abiding individual has no ability to exercise the right to bear arms. That is true even if that individual holds a carry permit anywhere else in this wonderful Nation. If someone lives in a state where they hold a carry permit and they cross the border into New Jersey, they immediately become a felon, unless they are willing to be disarmed. If you happen to reside in New Jersey, you will not be allowed to bear a firearm here no matter how law-abiding or qualified you are, unless you can prove that there is an immediate threat to your life.
How would one prove such a thing? Why is that requirement necessary or even legal?
The purpose of the Second Amendment has little or nothing to do with any of the things you talk about in your response. The purpose of the Second Amendment is to keep the power in the hands of the people, where it belongs in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The Second Amendment was intended as a warning to all three branches of the United States Government not to infringe of the people’s ability to bear arms against the possibility of Tyranny. That warning protects an individual right as determined by SCOTUS in the Heller decision and was clearly extended to apply against the States in the McDonald decision. While those decisions do allow for reasonable regulations, the exercise of the right to bear arms is effectively banned in the state of New Jersey. That is far from reasonable. The so-called “justifiable need” requirement disarms all United States citizens who either live in, visit or pass through our beautiful state.
The highest law of this Nation has been ignored and rejected by the government of our state. Eventually, New Jersey will be held accountable for breaking the Federal prohibition against the infringement of the individual right to keep and bear arms. The people of this Nation will remember those who either neglected to take the opportunity to correct this abrogation of our freedom or who tackled it head on.
I hope that you will make the correct decision. I hope I will still be around to remind them.
Most Sincerely,
Frank Jack Fiamingo
President – NJ2AS

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