WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange Township Council Meeting took a lively turn on Jan. 14 when a resolution for a Firearms Procurement Investigation was introduced.
Speaking on behalf of the resolution was Rabbi Elliott Tepperman from B’nai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue in Montclair, who advocated for the passage of a resolution that would "gather extensive information from and about manufacturers and vendors of firearms and ammunition" by the township.
Tepperman advocated for legislation that would require micro-stamping of bullets to identify the gun, and possibly trace them back to the owner. He mentioned smart guns, a new technology that could "recognize" the owner and only operate for them, helping to “keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people" but, “keep children from getting into their parent’s firearms collections.”
Alexander Roubian, a local firearms enthusiast, instructor, and spokesmen, spoke against the legislation, providing materials and national statistics. Roubian disagreed with Tepperman’s points, saying “These studies have already been done.” He insisted the legislation would decrease the efficiency of the firearms used by police offers.
Council President Susan McCartney responded by saying that “this only a call for information to be produced from the firearms companies’ side.”
Councilman Victor Cirilo asked Roubian “Why are you fighting this? If the information is already available, than why not have it again, this time on a local level.”
Councilman Joe Krakoviak chimed in, saying “I’m all for gun safety, but is now really the time for our town to worry about this.” Cirilo was also unsure that the timing was right to address the issue.
The resolution was denied 4-1. Council President McCartney was the sole yes vote.
During the Conference portion of the meeting, Councilman Krakoviak drilled Downtown West Orange Alliance Director Megan Brill as she reviewed the 2013 Budget and presented the 2014 budget. A surplus remained, and Councilman Krakoviak stated, “Should we reduce the amount of money coming from the town to the Downtown Alliance if there is going to be another surplus yet again this year?”
Brill replied by saying “we are still figuring out how to spend that money, and a lot of it is given back to the businesses in forms of grants.”
West Orange Township Historian Joe Fagan answered questions regarding his new local TV show “Discovering West Orange,” being produced by DWOA. Fagan hopes that the monthly program will “Motivate people to visit the historic places in West Orange, and in turn stimulate local spending.”
During a discussion of the soon-to-be-launched Downtown West Orange Alliance website, Councilman Jerry Guarino, one of the appointed officials of the Alliance said “the businesses are getting a tremendous investment from a marketing standpoint.” The website was established and funded through a $35,000 grant.