The New Jersey Senate will try again Oct. 22 to override a veto by Gov. Chris Christie — this one on a gun bill calling for law enforcement to be involved in the process when a would-be gun buyer seeks to have mental health records expunged to apply for a gun permit.
An override effort last month fell two votes short. And, despite dozens of failed attempts on other vetoes, Senate President Steve Sweeney says this time could be different.
“One of the Democrat senators was out of town. Two Republican senators didn’t vote at all and two voted for it,” he said Monday. “So I need one more vote, and one of the senators actually was a co-sponsor of the bill. So I think we have a shot at an override.”
Sweeney described the measure as a common-sense piece of legislation that was requested by the courts.
“You had something happen in Oregon, and now you had it in Arizona, and these people are people that have a history of mental health issues,said Sweeney, D-Gloucester. “We need to help people with mental health issues, not get guns where they can do great harm.”
Since Christie became governor in 2010, the Legislature has tried dozens of times to override some of his vetoes. All those attempts failed because of the lack of support from Republican lawmakers.
“If the governor wasn’t running for president, I assume we wouldn’t have this issue,” Sweeney said, alluding to Christie’s campaign efforts to appeal to conservative voters on the issue of gun laws.