The New Jersey Senate has voted 27-to-12 to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill allowing law enforcement involvement when someone attempts to have mental health records erased in order to apply for a gun permit.
It’s the first time either house of the Legislature has voted to overturn a Christie veto.
Sen. Kip Bateman was one of three Republicans who joined Democrats in supporting the override, even though he abstained when a similar attempt was made last month.
“But since the last time we were here, we’ve had more instances around the country, in particular Oregon, the community college out in Oregon,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror, if I didn’t do what I think was right today.”
Bateman of Somerset County said rejecting the veto of Christie, a Republican, was a tough thing to do.
“I mean, when you go against him there’s a lot of pressure,” he said. “Nobody likes to go against their governor. but he’s not always right.”
The successful override vote in the Senate shows that Republicans won’t always side with the governor, said Senate President Steve Sweeney.
“When there is good legislation that is good for the people, they are not going to put politics before people,” said Sweeney, D-Gloucester.
He said he has an enormous amount of respect for the Republican lawmakers who voted for the override.
“I’m sure that they’re going to have some rough days ahead the way this administration reacts when you don’t obey,” Sweeney said.
The Assembly also has to approve the override for the legislation to take effect, and there’s no indication when that vote will be scheduled.