N.J. task force to focus on gun control, othe issues related to violence

Gov. Chris Christie says New Jersey is taking a comprehensive approach to deal with gun violence.

While New Jersey already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, Christie said more steps are needed to reduce gun violence.

At the same time, the governor declined to take a position on President Barack Obama’s call for federal bans on assault weapons and gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

“When I believe that it’s appropriate for me for given an opinion, I’ll give one, but I don’t feel it’s appropriate right now — especially when I have no influence over it,” Christie said. “There’s nothing going on right now in Congress that would lead me to believe that I could have a position of influence on that topic one way or another at the moment.”

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Instead, Christie has established a task force that will study gun control, addiction, mental health, and school security and make recommendations within 60 days.

“This is a comprehensive look at not just what common sense measures we can implement to curtail gun violence, but a hard look at the root causes in our state,” he said Thursday. “This is about the bigger picture. This is about violence control not just about gun control.”

Christie says there are no predetermined outcomes, and he’ll consider everything the task force recommends.

Bryan Miller, the former leader of Cease Fire New Jersey, is critical of Christie’s approach. Miller says a delay in strengthening the state’s gun laws is likely to lead to more injury and death.

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