PISCATAWAY, NJ – Members of the Piscataway Township Council and law enforcement joined Mayor Brian Wahler on Tuesday as he officially signed into law a municipal ordinance prohibiting businesses from selling firearms and ammunition within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers, parks, bars, churches and other places where children may gather.
The ordinance sponsored by Ward 3 Councilman Steven D. Cahn was unanimously passed by council at its June 14 meeting after several readings, and received support by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Cahn said this is the first step in trying to prevent mass gun violence incidents like those that have happened in other parts of the country, with gun safety education and mental health next on the agenda.
“Restriction of gun sales, gun safety education and mental health all play-in together because there’s a psychological component to all three of them,” he explained.
Since these are national problems, “we are looking to the great resource we have in town which is Rutgers University which has people who have already studied these types of issues, so we can talk to them about what we can do as a community and find out what ideas they may have,” said Cahn.
Cahn said he hopes to be able to announce a new gun safety education initiative this summer and added that he has been in talks with Piscataway Police Chief, Scott Cartmell about developing a plan of action.
“He is 100% in favor of safety as much as I think most police chiefs,” said Cahn. “They’re the ones who have to deal with gun violence.”
“Mental health issues are more complicated because it gets into people’s privacy rights and limitations on what we can and cannot do,” he said. “We can promote good mental health and provide services and counseling, but we need some experts to help us on this issue.”
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