Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Senators Could Be Compelled to Vote on Gun Bill

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Senators Could Be Compelled to Vote on Gun Bill

Article excerpt

Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Monday that he expects all 40 state senators to vote in two weeks on another attempt to override Governor Christie's veto of a gun control bill -- even if that means sending armed officers to bring lawmakers to Trenton.

"We'll go get them. No one is going to run from this," Sweeney, D- Gloucester, said in announcing the Oct. 22 vote. "If you're going to vote against it and try to explain it to your constituents, fine. But you're going to stand up and vote one way or another."

Several hours after Sweeney lashed out at Republicans in the Senate, their leader, Tom Kean Jr., said he's working on "common ground" legislation that will be introduced this week. Kean, of Union County, said his bill combines many of the mental health reforms proposed by Christie and the legislation that he vetoed.

The bill in dispute sailed through the Legislature but has become a flash point amid a stream of mass shootings nationwide and Governor Christie's campaign for the Republican Party nomination for president.

The state Administrative Office of the Courts asked legislators to draft a law that would require law enforcement to provide information to judges when someone is seeking an expungement of his mental health record in order to purchase a gun. Current law does not allow law enforcement to share information with the courts that could influence a judge's decision, such as warrants, pending charges and criminal history.

Christie conditionally vetoed it because he said he wants "real reform" on mental health. In the veto message, which the governor's office referred to, Christie implored the Democratic-controlled Legislature to act on updates he proposed to New Jersey's "obsolete" and "inflexible" mental health laws.

The Legislature fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override Christie's veto last month. …

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