Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Yes, Common-Sense Compromises ARE Possible!

The New Jersey Senate has approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) that enhances protections for victims of domestic violence.

Bipartisan compromise legislation by Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Sen. Jennifer Beck enhances protections for victims of domestic violence. (Flickr)

The compromise proposal, S-2483, restricts access to firearms by certain persons subject to restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence offenses, and provides a clear and supervised process for the immediate surrender of firearms.
“This common-sense compromise ensures that when firearms must be surrendered due to conviction or restraining order, there are no gaps where the person still has access to their guns or the ability to cause additional harm,” said Beck. “For a person subject to a temporary restraining order related to domestic violence, for example, it makes no sense to give them a week to turn in their firearms. You’re just giving them a week to do something bad. If the person is such a risk that the restraining order is necessary, the guns should be surrendered immediately.”
The Senate’s passage of the compromise was applauded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions.
“This agreement is a real victory for responsibility that will make New Jersey families safer, and it represents the kind of bipartisan approach to preventing gun tragedies that our communities need. I’m grateful to New Jersey’s legislators for doing the responsible thing and voting to make the Garden State a safer place to live,” said Congresswoman Giffords. “I want to thank Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and Senator Jennifer Beck for their leadership and for listening to New Jersey’s community leaders and domestic violence prevention advocates who have urged their elected officials in Trenton to help protect families from abusers with guns.”
“As someone who first met Gabby Giffords many years ago, I am not surprised that she has taken the lead in this nationwide effort to protect others from becoming the victims of senseless gun violence,” said Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean. “I’d like to commend Senators Weinberg and Beck for building on the efforts of Congresswoman Giffords to develop a bipartisan solution that protects the victims of domestic violence in a way that works for New Jersey.”
Some key components of the legislation:
  • Provides a process for the immediate surrender of firearms by a defendant post-conviction;
  • Establishes that when a final restraining order (FRO) or a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring the surrender of firearms is served, a law enforcement officer will escort the subject to the location of their stored firearms to effectuate surrender;
  • An order to surrender firearms will include notification of potential penalties for failure to comply with the order; and
  • Enhanced penalties for domestic violence offenders, including maximum penalties for second and subsequent offenses of third or fourth degree domestic violence crimes.
“This legislation protects those who have suffered and are at risk of continued domestic abuse,” added Beck. “The gaps that this legislation addresses are those periods of time when abusers have proven most likely to commit atrocities that we know we can prevent.”

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