Skip to comments.Gun rights advocates turn out at Teaneck forum
Posted on 03/04/2013 10:37:52 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
TEANECK Gun rights advocates peppered state Sen. Loretta Weinberg with questions Sunday over a much-debated package of bills that they argue would infringe on their Second Amendment rights but whose supporters say closes loopholes.
The hour-long forum at the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County became heated at times as Weinberg, D-Teaneck, spelled out why she believes gun ownership ought to be more heavily regulated in New Jersey.
The 22 bills are not designed to take peoples guns away, Weinberg said to the more than 75 people packed into the societys meeting room. If you decide under your Second Amendment right to buy, purchase and keep a gun, you will do it safely and carefully.
New Jersey's existing gun laws are considered some of the strictest in the country, but Weinberg said the legislation is designed to close some loopholes.
The bills call for among other things:
Much of the legislation was introduced following the December shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Despite opposition from gun rights advocates, the package passed the Assembly last month and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate in the last two weeks of April, said Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader.
On Sunday, the audience was a mix of gun-rights advocates, gun-control supporters and members of the society one of the more progressive organizations in North Jersey.
Although the meeting grew tense at times, Joseph Chuman, the societys leader, kept the discussion orderly and civil.
When Adolf Hitlers views on gun regulation were brought up by advocates on both sides of the issue, Chuman said with a touch of disgust: Lets leave Hitler out of the debate to a round of applause.
Weinberg said one of her primary driving forces is that greater gun control will curb violence against women. We know from statistics, from studies that a gun in the home is more likely to be used by somebody against a person in the home, Weinberg said, citing a domestic violence study.
It prompted one Second Amendment supporter to say: Then just ban men, which drew laughter from some supporters.
Konstantin Salnikov, a gun-rights supporter from Fair Lawn, said there is no reason or logic behind most of the bills.
It will not do a single thing to combat crime, he told Weinberg. It will only affect people like me, law abiding citizens who for whatever reasons choose to have guns in our homes.
Robert Slomienski of Wallington held up a copy of the Constitution. Where in here does it say you can regulate our rights? he asked Weinberg.
Weinberg shot back that there have been regulations to the Bill of Rights since the founding of the country.
It is very clear that the state and federal government have the right to regulate all kinds of rights because my right to health, happiness, etc. needs to be protected too, she said.
Weinberg said she understood why some felt shortchanged when all 22 bills were put up for public discussion by an Assembly panel on only one day in February, limiting the amount of time they could be debated. She said the Senate would likely have multiple hearings to to allow more discussion.
Despite strong organizing by Second Amendment advocates, a Quinnipiac University poll released in January found 58 percent of New Jersey voters say the state's gun laws should be strengthened.
We have the wind at our backs with this legislation, Weinberg said, calling for members of the society to advocate for the bills passage.
After the meeting, Slomienski said the legislation would do little good.
Criminals do not follow laws, he said. What good will 22 more do?
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
New Jersey Democrats Carpet Bomb the Legislator with "Gun Control Bills".
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