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Gun Regulation Focus of Morristown Rally Tonight

30 NJ mayors recommend gun safety laws in a letter to Gov. Chris Christie Thursday.

A coalition of over 30 mayors sent a message to Gov. Chris Christie Thursday pushing for "common sense national gun laws," according to a statement released by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the Morris Area Committee to Reduce Gun Violence.

The mayors' letter highlighted loopholes in the country's background check system for gun ownership and asked Christie to support H.R. 137, a bill currently in the House of Representatives called the Fix Gun Checks Act which, if it passes, will close the gaps.

About 6.6 million guns are privately sold or transferred in the U.S. every year with no background check required.

The letter also points out that almost 80 percent of guns used in crimes in New Jersey were originally purchased in other states. "In 2011, for example, 170 crime guns came from Virginia, 145 from Georgia, and 104 from Florida. Unlike New Jersey, these states do not require background checks for the private gun sales that proliferate on the Internet and at gun shows," the letter reads in part.

Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said Christie could be influential in getting Congress members from New Jersey to vote for the bill. "We need him to stand up for common-sense national gun laws that will save lives in our state,” he said.

The news came only hours before an anti-gun violence rally and vigil will take place on the Morristown Green at 5 p.m. 

Like the mayors' letter, the rally is to encourage common sense gun laws at the local, state and federal levels in order to reduce gun violence.

The Rev. Alison Miller of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, who was a victim of gun violence when she was only 4 years old, will speak at the rally, as well Pastor Sidney Williams, a member of the Morris Area Clergy Council, and a pediatric ER doctor from Atlantic Health.

Also expected to speak is Rabbi Menache East of the Mount Freedom Jewish Center in Randolph.

“Human life in the Jewish tradition is the most treasured, most sacred of all values. God gave us life and, in turn, we are this world’s and our body’s stewards. When disease threatens the body, we employ every device and every medical advancement to preserve life," he said. "The proliferation of guns and the ease of access to maximum damage firepower is a disease that threatens the body. As a rabbi and as a parent, I urge people of good will, people committed to morality and civic responsibility and people of faith in the God who loves life, to demand for Gun violence to be curbed by demanding more thorough background checks and demanding federal regulation to minimize the potential to inflict mortal wounds with guns."

The rally will take place on the Morristown Green at 5 p.m., Feb. 14. Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles, flashlights and/or glow sticks.

Chris February 14, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Yes, to anti-gun violence. No, to making it harder for law abiding citizens to enjoy their 2nd amendment rights. All these laws are doing is making it harder for people to obtain guns legally. How does that help?
Kathrine Hernandez February 14, 2013 at 09:27 PM
I'm for outlawing all guns.
Chris February 14, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Do you not even want cops to have guns either?
Joe February 14, 2013 at 10:23 PM
I not certain where the "enjoyment" of gun rights comes into play - guns - a deadly weapon used mostly to kill others and themselves (what is it 20,000 suicides per year with guns). If you want to hunt, skeet shoot or have a reasonable weapon for safety - but high capacity magazines, semi-automatic weapons, buying 500 rounds of ammo - not sure that is what our founders intended by the 2nd amendment - drafted during times of muskets
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 15, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Spock would have a hard time living here in NJ.
Rebecca P. Feldman February 15, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Visit facebook/morrisarea2reducegunviolence for photos and updates about the 33-Mayor letter to Governor Christie urging him to support Universal Background Checks, nationwide - because some 80% of crime guns in NJ come from outside of our State.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Kathrine, you can go to england, or cuba if you like. See when this country was conceived. it was conceived with the a right to bear arms and very good reasons for this right. It is really not of recent immigrants, that have no understanding of what and why this right is in place to want to remove it. You only have the right not to bear one. Period. Many come over to this country wanting to continue to receive free money and benefits with money stolen from the rich as if it is some how their right. Well pack your bags and return to your country of origin and live in you gun free country. This country will never be gun free, and the free checks will stop coming.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk February 15, 2013 at 11:06 AM
I can shoot 500 rounds in a weekend at the firing range. Mind your own businees Joe. You have no idea what me or anyone else needs in our lives. Manage your own live and quit being a control freak. How bout i come over you house and walk around and notice there are too many beer cans in your garbage, or you have too many junk food items and decide to pick them up and throw them in the garbage. This is america Joe, and you need to remember that. "Don't tread on me" and "mind your own business" is a great policy to have. I don't think you should have that huge fat gut of yours, but that is none of my business.

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