FAIR LAWN, NJ - Today, Friday, September 5, 2019, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) called for action to protect North Jersey children from gun violence as students head back to a new school year. Gottheimer stood with Bergen County’s Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, as well as local Fair Lawn and Bergen County leaders, to call on Congress to get to work on gun and school safety legislation to implement red flag laws, ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and institute commercial background checks.
“I’m sick and tired of having to wage this fight against gun violence, year in and year out, when so many of the potential solutions are sitting right in front of us. I’m sick and tired of seeing the alerts come across my phone about yet another mass shooting – thirty-eight this year alone. I’m sick and tired that my two young children and yours have to start their school year with active shooter drills,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “We are here this morning because the number of Americans, like us, who are sick and tired of inaction has hit a tipping point – the time for real action is now. That’s why we’re here. Because it’s time for the light to overcome the darkness.”
Gottheimer continued, “The best way we can keep our children safe is to finally pass legislation to help keep guns out of the hands of those who would come through the school house doors with an arsenal of weapons fit for war. This shouldn’t be so hard. It’s a bipartisan issue. To do that, we need real background checks for every single commercial transaction, universally, including at gun shows, so that no criminal, gang member, terrorist, or individual with a mental illness can brandish a lethal weapon.”
Gottheimer called today for the Senate to finally bring two important safety measures to the floor that the House sent over 190 days ago: H.R. 8, which requires a background check on every gun sale or transfer; and H.R. 1112, which closes the Charleston Loophole that allows a firearm sale to proceed even if the FBI has not yet completed a background check.
Gottheimer recently announced the bipartisan ALYSSA Act — the Alyssa’s Legacy Youth in Schools Safety Act, named after Fifth District native and Parkland victim Alyssa Alhadeff, which will bring New Jersey’s state Alyssa’s Law to the national level by requiring all public schools to install silent panic alarms connected to local law enforcement. Gottheimer’s ALYSSA Act will also ensure every school has access to School Resource Officers, so schools have a well-trained first responder on already on campus in the event of a critical incident.
Standing with Gottheimer today was Larisa Mendez Downes, Bergen County Co-Lead of Moms Demand Action; Fair Lawn Mayor Kurt Peluso; Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor Gail Rottenstrich; New Jersey Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (LD-38); Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton; Bergen County Freeholder Vice Chairwoman Mary J. Amoroso; Bergen County Education Association President Sue McBride; Fair Lawn Public Schools Superintendent Nick Norcia; and and the Fair Lawn Board of Education.
"Common-sense and evidence-based solutions are key to solving the gun violence crisis in America. Passing background checks on all gun sales, a strong Red Flag law, and responsible storage and child access prevention measures are critical pieces of the puzzle in keeping our kids safe at schools and throughout our communities," said Larisa Mendez Downes, Bergen County Co-Lead of Moms Demand Action. "One of our legislators, who has worked hard to ensure that we continue the conversation on gun violence prevention — our congressman, Josh Gottheimer."
“At the state level we have championed common sense gun safety legislation to keep our school children and residents safe in New Jersey,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain and Assemblyman Chris Tully. “This week the vital red flag law takes effect and we are proud to have sponsored a law that helps fight straw purchasing and gun trafficking. As legislators it is our moral obligation to stand up against the scourge of gun violence in our society and New Jersey will continue to be a national leader in this effort.”
“The safety and security of our children is the top priority for Bergen County law enforcement. That is why it is imperative for county and local departments to always be prepared by having the necessary tools to help prevent, and ultimately respond in the event of a worst-case scenario,” said Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton. “Since taking office, Congressman Gottheimer has worked tirelessly to bring more money back for law enforcement and has been a strong advocate for common-sense gun safety legislation. I thank him for his commitment on these issues and look forward to continue working together to keep our children safe.”