A coalition of more than 30 New Jersey mayors is calling on Gov. Chris Christie to use his position as governor to urge the passage of stronger gun laws in Congress.
The group thanked him for establishing the NJ SAFE Task Force to study violence in the Garden State following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., but also asked the governor to do more to fight against “a national epidemic of gun violence in America.”
“We urge you to communicate with members of Congress and convey strong support for common‐sense measures that will require a criminal background check for all gun sales and limit access to military‐style weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines,” reads the letter.
“There is already movement on key issues in Washington, D.C., but we need as much support as possible from every member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation.”
The coalition, a bipartisan group dubbed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, includes more than 850 mayors nationwide, including 80 mayors in New Jersey.
“Gov. Christie is an influential figure, not just in New Jersey but across the country. We need him to stand up for common-sense national gun laws that will save lives in our state,” said Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty in a statement.
“With his leadership and support, I believe we can get every member of our congressional delegation to support background checks on all U.S. sales,” he said.
The coalition is hosting a vigil in Morristown tonight to recognize the two-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting.
On Wednesday, an Assembly committee released more than 20 bills dealing with access to and ownership of guns following about seven hours of sometimes heated testimony.
The 33 mayors that signed the letter sent to the governor are:
Mayor Fred Tagliarini, Aberdeen
Mayor Mark Smith, Bayonne
Mayor Patrick H. McHale, Bogota
Mayor Chuck Cahn, Cherry Hill
Mayor Janice Kovach, Clinton
Mayor Sophie Heymann, Closter
Mayor M. James Maley, Jr., Collingswood
Mayor Thomas Hannen, Jr., Cranford
Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, Elizabeth
Mayor Colleen Mahr, Fanwood
Mayor Raymond McDonough, Harrison
Mayor Paul Anzano, Hopewell
Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Jersey City
Mayor Michael B. Ryan, Lake Como
Mayor Michael Beck, Lower Township
Mayor Victor DeLuca, Maplewood
Mayor Patrick O’Hagan, Midland Park
Mayor Timothy Dougherty, Morristown
Mayor Cory Booker, Newark
Mayor J. Brooke Hern, New Providence
Mayor Francis Womack, III, North Brunswick
Mayor Randy George, North Haledon
Mayor Alex Blanco, Passaic
Mayor Jeffrey Jones, Paterson
Mayor Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy
Mayor Liz Lempert, Princeton
Mayor Jamel C. Holley, Roselle
Mayor Nicholas Poliseno, Spotswood
Mayor Peter S. Rustin, Tenafly
Mayor Clifton People, Jr., Union
Mayor Robert D. Parisi, West Orange
Mayor John Birkner, Jr., Westwood
Mayor Jeffrey R. Goldsmith, Woodcliff Lake