New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, but not strict enough to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. Last year, there were 14 domestic abuse related murder suicides in New Jersey. On average, in America, 47 women are murdered by guns monthly at the hands of an intimate partner or stalker. Not allowing domestic abusers and stalkers access to guns will reduce the number of women murdered and victimized in America.
Since Congress is slow to move on this issue, states are taking matters into their own hands. New Jersey Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester) is sponsoring legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. The legislation would: require domestic abusers to surrender all of their guns if a domestic violence restraining order is in effect or if they’re convicted of a domestic violence crime, suspend the gun-purchase ID cards and permits of abusers, revoke such cards if an abuser is convicted of a domestic violence crime and require cross-checking of records to determine if an abuser owns a firearm.
Abused women rarely have access to money or guns to protect themselves and their children. It is up to us to protect New Jersey women by supporting state legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. We must also urge our Rep. Chris Smith to support national legislation to protect women.
This letter also appeared in the Times of Trenton.