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More than 150 Moms Demand Action supporters converged in Trenton on June 27th for their annual Advocacy Day, tripling the crowd size from last year. Advocates gathered to thank legislators for the recent gun bills that were passed on June 20th and to lobby for six additional bills moving through the legislature.
In the standing-room-only committee room, a stream of both Democratic and Republican legislators came by unexpectedly to address the crowd. Among those who spoke before the assembled volunteers was Asm. Louis Greenwald (D-LD6), who has introduced and/or co-sponsored a significant number of bills addressing gun violence in the Garden State. Also appearing were Bill Castner, senior adviser to the Governor on Firearms, and Lieutenant Gov. Sheila Oliver, who related a story of her family’s experience with gun violence.
The advocates from Moms Demand Action cited four bills related to gun violence that were passed last week in New Jersey: A Hospital Violence Intervention Program package (A4802, A4802, A4805, A4806), A Revised Smart Gun bill (S.101 and A.1016), a bill that expands the prohibiting convictions statute (A.5454), and a bill that requires suicide prevention training for firearm dealers (A.3896).
But more can be done, said Theresa Turner, New Jersey’s State Legislative Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “While we are thrilled that sensible legislation was passed last week, there are several life-saving bills that are stalled right now in the legislature,” said Turner. These bills include requiring firearm training and four-year renewal for Firearms ID cards, preventing the illegal transfer of firearms through prohibiting straw purchases, requiring electronic record keeping of all ammunition sales to aid in the investigation of gun crimes, providing resources to the victims of violent crime, and encouraging responsible storage of firearms to safeguard children from rising incidents of firearm suicide.
“NJ has among the strictest gun laws in the nation and among the lowest rate of gun violence, but we can, and should, do more to keep NJ residents safe,” says Turner. “Our presence in Trenton sends a message to all legislators that Moms are strong — we won’t stop fighting until this public health crisis of gun violence is under control.”
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence by advocating for stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country. For more information or to get involved, visit www.momsdemandaction.org.