New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday vetoed the second iteration of a bill that would formalize the confiscation of weapons from those accused of domestic violence.
Christie called the measure “identical to legislation I conditionally vetoed last session” and said the bill contains “redundant restrictions on firearms ownership while ignoring the larger problem of domestic violence, which in most cases does not involve a firearm.”
Christie said that current rules already require officers to seize a person’s weapons when there is probable cause to believe the person has committed domestic violence.
The bill would (among other things) require those accused of domestic violence to surrender their guns while a restraining order is in effect, and would suspend their firearms purchaser identification card and handgun permits during that same period, according to NJ.com.
It would also, according to Philly.com, require courts that issue restraining orders to arrange for immediate surrender of firearms, cards and permits to a law enforcement officer.
Opponents of the bill argue that it would unfairly restrict the Second Amendment rights of those that have not committed—and even those who have not been accused of committing—violent acts.
“Seizure and forfeiture of guns, and loss of gun rights, should not apply where there is no violent act,” the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs wrote in a position paper objecting to the legislation.
Under the legislation, an argument or a harassment accusation could result in the forfeiture of weapons.
NJ.com reports that Gov. Christie proposed a rewrite of the bill that would expedite the permit process for domestic abuse victims seeking access to a gun for their own protection. The proposal comes on the heels of a set of executive orders designed to make it easier for New Jersey residents to acquire concealed carry permits.
Christie cited as his motivation for those executive orders the death of Carol Browne, who was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend while awaiting a concealed carry permit.
Anti-gun members of New Jersey’s legislature have sought to overturn Christie’s orders while promoting bills like the one the governor just vetoed. Doing so would deny women like Browne access to a means of self-defense while going after individuals like Browne’s boyfriend, who do not need a gun to perpetuate tragedy.
The last attempt by anti-gunners to overturn Christie’s veto fell short by five votes, but Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester) said lawmakers would “continue this fight.”