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Task Force On Guns And Violence Issues Report

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. April 10, 2013

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Governor Christie’s task force on guns and violence has released its report.

One of its more than 50 recommendations would specifically prohibit so-called ‘straw purchases.”

The task force says a new law should be enacted making it a crime to buy a gun for someone else who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Senator Sandra Cunningham believes a straw purchase law would make a difference.

 “One of the first pieces of legislation that I was able to pass as a state senator was our one handgun per month bill that we hoped would slow down straw purchasing. It’ still been a very big issue, and we’re still getting the guns on the streets.”

The task force is also recommending that courts be authorized to order the seizure of firearms from people who are arrested or ordered to undergo a psychiatric screening.

Phil Lubitz is Associate Director of NAMI New Jersey that provides support for people with mental illness.

He says only a small percentage of mental health screenings conclude that a person is dangerous.

 “I think we have to be cautious about immediately jumping to the conclusion that because one is experiencing some sort of mental health difficulty that they must be considered to be dangerous, that we should be immediately enter their home and confiscate any weapons that might be present.”

The governor’s office says Christie will review the recommendations and current legislative initiatives and will make his specific proposals in the next 10 days.

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