June 27, 2015 |
A law that permitted the National Rifle Association to sue Philadelphia and other municipalities over local gun ordinances that are stricter than state law is unconstitutional, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. The 2014 law granted legal standing to "membership organizations" to sue over local gun laws and collect legal fees and other costs if they won. The NRA used the measure to sue Philadelphia. Other municipalities have repealed ordinances to avoid similar suits. In a decision released Thursday, a seven-member Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously that the law, known as Act 192, violated the state constitution because of the way it was enacted by the General Assembly.
July 16, 2014 |
IT MAY BE a longer, hotter summer for the gun freaks than they have had in some time, mainly the National Rifle Association, which approaches every election with a strategy to oppose everything and dole out money only to candidates who pledge allegiance to the industry's policy of no firearms restrictions, period. Michael Bloomberg is planning to give the NRA and its minions a dose of their own medicine at the same time a movement is gaining momentum among some states to take guns away from those identified as potentially dangerous because of mental problems.
April 23, 2014
Adoptees' time In most of the seven states that have granted adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates, the abortion rate has actually declined and adoption rates have risen ("Deadline looming for N.J. adoptees," April 20). New Jersey's proposed law allows birth mothers to choose between no contact, an intermediary, or direct contact. That provision has worked indisputably well in states that passed open-access legislation, without any of the opponents' fears being realized.
March 17, 2014 |
TRENTON As Senate President Stephen Sweeney seeks to strengthen his credibility among liberal voters by backing a proposal to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, he also has set in motion political tests of Gov. Christie's conservative credentials and of gun-rights groups' influence in the aftermath of the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. Sweeney, a Democrat, last year blocked the Assembly-backed bill, which would reduce the legal capacity of magazines from 15 rounds to 10. His district - which includes rural parts of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland Counties - has a sizable constituency of gun owners and is generally more conservative than those represented by some of his fellow Democrats.
September 22, 2013 |
TRENTON - In the spring, Gov. Christie personally proposed a ban on sales of the .50-caliber Barrett semiautomatic sniper rifle. But last month, the Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have implemented that very ban, saying Democratic lawmakers went too far by forcing current owners to give up the military-style weapon. Now, New Jersey's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Steve Lonegan, whom Christie has endorsed, will hold a fund-raiser in Camden County in which donors can shoot the same gun for $25 a round.
September 19, 2013
Mass shootings in America occur so frequently - nearly 30 in the 14 years since the 13 Columbine High School murders - it's a wonder that they garner as much attention as they do. The frequency may help to explain why a push for gun control after 20 schoolchildren and six adults were killed in the Newtown, Conn., massacre fizzled. Nine months later, the country is again wringing its hands after a lone gunman killed 12 people Tuesday at the Washington Navy Yard before being fatally shot by police.
August 17, 2013
Gov. Christie was right to sign 10 gun-safety bills that deny permits to people on terrorism watch lists, provide an amnesty period for turning in illegal weapons, increase penalties for unlawful firearms possession and trafficking, and more. But he's not finished. He should continue by signing the most important bills in the package of 15, which the Legislature sent him in the wake of the December slaughter of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. One of the bills he hasn't signed would ban .50-caliber rifles, which are capable of hitting targets more than a mile away with armor-piercing, 4-inch rounds.
April 25, 2013 |
COPS ARE TRUE optimists. Surrounded by violence and facing danger every day, we have to be optimists. We represent the police chiefs from every major city in the nation - and we believe we can do more to make America safe. That's why we looked to the U.S. Senate for courage and leadership on gun violence, to enact reforms that are long overdue. With 94 percent of the public asking for better gun laws, we expected the Senate to do what cops do - protect the public. But a minority of senators protected themselves instead of the American people.
April 24, 2013 |
You might have thought that the mangled bodies of 20 dead children would have been enough to overcome the crazed obsessions of the gun lobby. You might have believed that the exhortations of a former congresswoman - her life forever changed by a would-be assassin's bullet - would have pushed Congress to do the right thing. You might have reasoned that polls showing overwhelming public support for a sensible gun-control measure would have persuaded politicians to take a modest step toward preventing more massacres.
April 23, 2013 |
Victories often contain the seeds of future defeats. So it is - or should be - with the Senate's morally reprehensible rejection of expanded background checks for gun buyers. The outcome is a test of both an invigorated gun-safety movement and a gun lobby that decided to go for broke. The National Rifle Association assumed that blocking new gun legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre would firmly establish its dominance. Advocates of sane gun regulations would scatter in despair and be torn apart by recriminations.