Government

Members of Congress join Piscataway Officials Calling for Action Against Gun Violence

f5138471368a534af4bc_da63d8532c69935c8670_83286547-8B7C-4421-A7E3-F708C266433E.jpeg
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) Credits: Kenneth Simmons
9b478795045225716a31_34905ad22bf782df356c_07F5C4B5-6BD8-4084-8B60-D42DDE186F1A.jpeg
Congress Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) Credits: Kenneth Simmons
894fd0dcb3ff636242cc_66f7a1f24d5d23d54873_894CCA43-587D-4040-ADC9-6997A0125DAB.jpeg
Senator Bob Smith Credits: Kenneth Simmons
cebe38eaf2135f1ca76e_a53a48e0c175be28ce19_BB40B17E-77DA-4C8F-97DD-F089E2AC8786.jpeg
Steven D. Cahn, Piscataway Councilman, Ward 3 Credits: Kenneth Simmons
ca7d24cb4cfebcc8e725_a0623c1b09eac3bb03e8_812F8DAD-AAB4-4924-AA69-717B29B8DE4C.jpeg
Credits: Kenneth Simmons
1e0f6e6eb344f20d393c_80d448b914e987de1ee3_A16306AE-0A17-4BC4-8DEC-009E5BD903A1.jpeg
Charlene Hoverter (center), Kathryn Riss (holding sign), and friend Credits: Kenneth Simmons
f5138471368a534af4bc_da63d8532c69935c8670_83286547-8B7C-4421-A7E3-F708C266433E.jpeg

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Members of Congress joined local elected officials in their stance against gun violence, announcing proposed legislation that would place further restrictions on who could purchase and own guns and ammunition.

At the children’s playground in Piscataway’s Quibbletown Park on Wednesday, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) applauded members of the township council for taking a lead with its proposed ordinance banning the retail sales of guns and ammunition within 1,000 feet of any school, park, day care center or athletic field.

Watson Coleman spoke about two related bills that she recently introduced to Congress.

Sign Up for E-News

“One limits the purchases of ammunition online without going to a dealer to identify yourself before picking it up,” she said. “It also captures how much ammunition a person is purchasing so it alerts law enforcement for any potential problems that need to be addressed.”

She also discussed her proposed Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2018 that requires a person must be at least 21 years-old to purchase a gun and must participate in a gun safety program and be licensed.

“They must submit to a comprehensive background check including fingerprints and must be relicensed every five years, so we know where these guns are and who owns them,” said Watson Coleman calling them common-sense, fundamental pieces of legislation.

“Right now, there are hundreds of bills in Congress that deal with some aspect of gun safety to make our neighborhoods safer,” she said. “But we’ve not been able to do not one thing in Congress but talk about it, kneel about it, stand silent about it. Now is the time for change.”

Pallone also called for gun initiatives that he said need to be done.

“We can’t just have these moments of silence. We have to take action,” he said, mentioning how there was an assault weapons ban in place when he was first elected to Congress in 1988.  “I always talk about needing universal background checks, limitations on the number of rounds of ammunition, and bringing back the assault weapons ban.”

“New Jersey is probably the best state in the country in terms of state legislation on gun safety issues,” said Pallone, commending Piscataway for taking the initiative on gun safety on the local level. “But it’s not enough. A bad actor can buy a gun in another state and still come in to the state.”

Steven Cahn, Ward 3 Councilman and sponsor of Piscataway’s proposed ordinance said he agrees with Watson Coleman’s suggestions for sensible gun control, adding how the township government stands in support of the student activism at Piscataway High School against gun violence.

But instead of waiting for action on the federal level, “we decided to lead on the local level, with local people taking charge,” Cahn said, noting that the ordinance is in line with the 2nd Amendment and is aimed at protecting the community, especially the students across the school district.

When reached for comment about the proposed legislations and ordinance, school superintendent, Teresa Rafferty said in a statement, “The Piscataway School District strongly supports restricting gun sales near schools and other public facilities.”

"In fact, at its March 22 business meeting, the Piscataway Board of Education adopted a ‘Resolution in Support of Gun Control and Mental Health Services to Protect Our Youth’, affirming that a safe and secure school environment is essential for learning,” said Rafferty.

“The Board supports state and local laws to provide further protections for our students and schools and urges federal action to address access to, and ownership of military-style assault weapons and ammunition, the delivery of mental health services, and financial support to ensure a safe and secure school climate,” she said.

“Responsibility in who owns a gun and who can get one, the benefit in the security and safety is going to benefit everyone, including children,” said Watson Coleman adding that she doesn’t believe teachers should be armed.

“We are very much impacted by what the students in Parkland and those who have surrounded them and grown this massive outpouring of accountability,” she said. “We support that.”

Charlene Hoverter, an advocate with the Everytown Survivor Network held up a photo of her sister who was killed by a gunman in 1986.

“I am a survivor of gun violence,” Hoverter told the lawmakers. “I want to say thank you to all of you for being part of this gun violence prevention. Every little thing you do is a step in the right direction.”

TAPintoPiscataway.net is an online newspaper serving the Township of Piscataway.

Sign up for our FREE daily eNews. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @PiscatawayTAP.

Businesses: Advertise with TAPinto Piscataway. Click here for more information.

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

New Jersey Heroes Honored for Saving Lives

June 18, 2018

Thirty-eight individuals and organizations in New Jersey were recently honored at the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association 2018 New Jersey American Heartsavers and Stroke Heroes Awards for their life-saving efforts. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s American Heartsavers and Stroke Heroes Awards is held annually to commend individuals, ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...