New Jersey Assembly falls short on overriding Christie gun law veto

 New Jersey Assembly members look up at the tally board as they vote on a veto override Thursday in Trenton, New Jersey. The Democrat-led Assembly failed in their attempt to override Gov. Chris Christie on a bill he conditionally vetoed this year. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

New Jersey Assembly members look up at the tally board as they vote on a veto override Thursday in Trenton, New Jersey. The Democrat-led Assembly failed in their attempt to override Gov. Chris Christie on a bill he conditionally vetoed this year. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

An attempt by majority Democrats in the New Jersey Assembly to override Governor Christie’s veto of a gun bill has come up short.

The legislation would have allowed law enforcement involvement when someone wants to erase mental health records in applying for a gun permit.

 

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick urged Speaker Vinnie Prieto to hold the override and call for a special session to work on comprehensive mental health reforms.

“That would show New Jerseyans and the world that we are working across the aisle cooperatively with the governor to put forward a series of proposals to begin to normalize what I believe has become a very violent society,” said Bramnick, R-Union.

Four Republican lawmakers voted for the override, but seven GOP votes were needed, and the bill was withdrawn.

Assemblyman Scott Rumana said he couldn’t support the override because the bill has a major loophole.

“What if I just go in and get the record expunged first and don’t apply for a firearm at that time and then the record is expunged, and I get a firearm later on?” said Rumana, R-Passaic.

Assemblyman Joe Lagana,  one of the sponsors of the legislation, said no one can get a gun without completing a form that allows State Police to search mental health records.

“I consent to the disclosure of my mental health records including disclosure of the fact that said records may have been expunged,” he quoted.

Prieto, D-Hudson, said he was disappointed the override did not succeed and will try again later this month.

“I am planning to bring this bill back up and let people know that they’re going to have to see it again,” he said. “And they’re going to have to answer to the residents of the state of New Jersey if they do not want to do the right thing.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.