TRENTON, N.J., July 3 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill Thursday would limit the size of ammunition magazines, criticizing the proposed measure as an ineffective approach to reducing gun violence.
"This is the very embodiment of reform in name only," Christie said.
"It simply defies common sense to believe that imposing a new and entirely arbitrary number of bullets that can be lawfully loaded into a firearm will somehow eradicate, or even reduce, future instances of mass violence. Nor is it sufficient to claim that a ten-round capacity might spare an eleventh victim ... I will not support such a trivial approach to the sanctity of human life, because this is not governing. Governing is confronting problems."
The problem Christie wishes to confront is changes to the state's mental health system. Christie rewrote A2006, completely removing language that would limit the permitted size of ammunition magazines from 15 to 10, and expanding standards for involuntary commitment of citizens with mental health issues who are not dangerous "but whose mental illness, if untreated, could deteriorate to the point of harm." Christie promised to sign A2006 if it passed the state legislature with his new language.
Parents of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings were at the statehouse Thursday, with the signatures of 55,000 New Jerseyans supporting A2006 as it was originally passed.
Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden each lost first-grade sons in the 2012 mass-shooting. Both were present in Trenton Thursday, and issued a statement slamming the New Jersey governor.
"[Gov. Christie's] refusal to meet with us is a cowardly political move, but his statement accusing us of 'grandstanding' and furthering 'empty rhetoric' is a blow to the memories of our children," Hockley and Barden said.
"Limiting the number of bullets loaded into a gun is not 'trivial' -- we know that smaller magazines would have saved more lives at Sandy Hook Elementary, possibly even the lives of our own children ... If Governor Christie wishes to dodge a true veto of this bill, then we respectfully ask that he does that by meeting with us and telling us to our faces that it wouldn't have protected our own children and won't save the lives of New Jersey's children. We doubt he has the courage to face us."