New Jersey Residents for Action Against Gun Violence was formed by Westfield residents as a call to action for desperately needed sensible federal gun regulation to keep our communities safer.

Many people say that our laws in NJ are strong and that we do not need federal legislation. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

In crimes committed in New Jersey involving a gun, 80% of those crimes involved illegal guns which were obtained as either a straw purchase (someone buying a gun for someone who can't pass a background check ) or from a private dealer in a state with absolutely no background check. 

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It would seem that the least we can do is prohibit criminals and the mentally ill from having deadly weapons and increase penalties for straw purchases. But that's not what we are doing. By not passing these laws on a federal level we are encouraging criminals and the mentally ill to possess deadly weapons.This poses a huge safety risk to all those in New Jersey as guns are illegally obtained in states like Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and consequently used in crimes in New Jersey.   

This is why we need organizations like Mayors Against Illegal Guns to petition our legislators to take action and pass mandatory comprehensive background checks for all commercial gun sales. 

I still cannot understand why Mayor Skibitsky refuses to join Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but I know it is wrong.

I will leave it up to voters to decide if we should have a leader like Andy Skibitsky who refuses to do everything in his power to keep all of our streets safe by joining  Mayors Against Illegal Guns, or  if we need a leader like Dave Haas who is committed to taking the right actions that we need for commonsense gun regulation and who will join Mayors Against Illegal Guns.