Gov Christie Modifies Gun Ban, Sends Legislature Mental Health Reforms

State of New Jersey
State of New Jersey

Trenton, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- MORE THAN REFORM “IN NAME ONLY” – Governor Christie has consistently stated that we must focus on what actually works to reduce violence in our society and not just what is politically popular or sounds good in name only.

Evaluating gun control measures is just one piece of a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach that seeks to address the root causes of violence.

Echoing this commitment, today Governor Christie is returning A2006 to the legislature with a reform plan that deals with individuals with mental illness who pose a danger to the community and directly addressing cracks in New Jersey’s mental health system.

Governor Christie: “We will not settle for grandstanding reform in name only. We can insist that elected officials pass laws that will bring about meaningful change. Mass violence will not end by changing the number of bullets loaded into a gun. It will end with a serious commitment to elevating our response to mental illness, a declaration that we will not let our discomfort with this disease threaten our children, our families, and our communities. It will end by taking seriously our duty to incarcerate violent criminals, not by criminalizing the conduct of law abiding citizens to score political points. I am ready to lead that fight.”

In January 2013, Governor Christie was clear about the need to be the “grown-ups on this issue:”

Governor Christie: “We cannot and we should not let emotion guide our actions. We cannot let empty rhetoric, fear, division, and politics, along with the twenty-four hour media cycle take hold of this conversation and the things we must do to fundamentally deal with the very real problems we’re facing in our homes, in our schools, in our state, and in our country.”

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE’S REFORMS WILL ACTUALLY ADDRESS VIOLENCE BY FIXING CRITICAL SHORTCOMINGS AND CRACKS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM:

Improve Treatment for Individuals in Crisis with New Standards for Involuntary Commitment. Under current law, New Jersey uses one standard for involuntary inpatient and outpatient commitment: whether the individual’s mental illness causes the person to be dangerous and the person is unwilling to accept treatment voluntarily. Under the Governor’s proposed reforms, a new standard for involuntary commitment will be created to include individuals who are not currently dangerous but whose mental illness, if untreated, could deteriorate to the point of harm, and treats potentially dangerous mental illnesses different from other cognitive disabilities to ensure they are treated appropriately.

Improve Standards for Involuntary Outpatient Treatment. The Governor’s changes will amend current law to eliminate the concerns raised by clinicians and courts regarding what factors should be considered when recommending involuntary outpatient treatment. Under the proposal, individuals would now be evaluated based on a history of lack of compliance with treatment; acts of serious violent behavior to self or others; threats or attempts at harm within the past forty-eight months; or unwillingness to voluntarily comply with treatment because of a mental illness. These new standards provide predictable guidance for clinicians to best determine whether involuntary outpatient treatment is most appropriate to maximize use of outpatient commitment.

End the Broken Loops in Clinical Oversight. The Governor’s reforms provide for a streamlined, clinician-based process allowing a patient to be transferred between commitment settings to ensure a full spectrum of treatment to address mental illness fully and appropriately.

Review Firearm Licenses After Involuntary Commitment. The Governor’s reforms amend current law to provide that a person who has been involuntarily committed to mental health treatment should provide adequate medical evidence to a court to obtain a firearms purchaser identification card or handgun purchase permit.

Expand Crisis Training for First Responders. The Governor’s reforms will also mandate new training programs for first responders to educate those most likely to encounter persons in crisis with modern techniques for de-escalation and, whenever necessary, steps for referral for mental health screening and treatment.

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE HAS PUT SOLUTIONS BEFORE POLITICS: Today’s action is consistent with Governor Christie’s comprehensive, multi-pronged approach. In April 2013, Governor Christie, utilizing recommendations from the bipartisan NJ Safe Taskforce, first unveiled a comprehensive and sensible plan aimed at violence control. These proposals include reforms to impose mandatory minimum sentences for illegal gun possession, stringent sentences for firearms trafficking, and new guidelines to target and treat mental illness.

Instead of acting on these reforms, the legislature continues to pass ill-conceived bills in an attempt to drive an emotional, political agenda. More than one year later, and despite no vocal opposition to these measures, the Governor’s proposals to fix critical aspects of our criminal justice and mental health systems languish unconsidered by the legislature and unavailable to law enforcement and mental health professionals.

A copy of the Governor’s recommended changes to A2006 can be found in the attached PDF.

18 thoughts on “Gov Christie Modifies Gun Ban, Sends Legislature Mental Health Reforms

  1. I’m not used to a politician making sense. This is a great day for New Jersey and all Americans!

  2. On the surface it looks like a wonderful idea, but what about the potential for abuse. If the feds can strong arm law abiding citizens with federal agencies, do they really think state officials and medical personal won’t do the same. Governor, what about the rights of the victims of your plan???

  3. @Mike

    There is due process involved with the involuntary commitments. I am not familiar with the NJ court system, but in most states the state or agency must go before probate court and the person who is being committed has a lawyer. There must also be and independent evaluation. Understand, that due process does not mean before you are committed. You can be legally committed and then have your day in court. Depending on the state, that can be as long as 15 days. But make no mistake there is due process.

  4. I am ok with the mental health restrictions but only if a person is adjudicated by a court with the opportunity to defend oneself before the restrictions kick in. NO anonymous tips to law enforcement that their neighbor is acting strangely. This where the abuse happens.

  5. one cannot force one to take medication due to a mental illness. Unless one has demonstrated an inclination to harm themselves or others. Then, that individual should be remanded to an institution for safety concerns and evaluation.

    I DON’T LIKE THE PHRASE: ….or unwillingness to voluntarily comply with treatment because of a mental illness.

    WHO judges or declares the mental illness or unwillingness. This sounds like a legal end around to remove half, or more of the firearms from society!

    This must be figured out in a setting which condemns political instigation with complete and total removal of the political party forever.

  6. DON’T BE FOOLED BY THAT FAT ASS. THIS IS JUST A BACK ROOM ATTEMPT TO RESTRICT YOU FROM OWNING A FIREARM JUST FOR SEEING A MENTAL HEALTH DOCTOR FOR STRESS, OR JUST TO TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS , OR TROUBLES. UNLESS IT’S A COURT ORDER THAT THE PERSON IS A THREAT, THEN THEY SHOULD BE EVALUATED AS A THREAT TO THE PUBLIC. THIS IS A SCEAM TO GET OTHER ANTI GUN BANS THROUGH.

  7. I’m glad to see Christie talk about doing things that will actually help, not just making guns that hold fewer rounds of ammunition. He’s right, that is not going to solve anything, but the things that ‘sound good’ and seem to reflect some sort of outrage are the ones which get the most publicity – and the most support from the simple-minded who can’t think past the tip of their nose. I don’t know just how conservative Christie is, but this is a lot more encouraging than the typical ‘we need to get rid of guns’ crapola that only hassles law abiding citizens while solving nothing.

  8. WHAT MAKE HIM THINK POLITICIANS CHILDRENS SAFTEY IS NOT AS IMPOTRTANT THAN THE REGULAR FAMILY WHO HAVE CHILDREN. WE HAVE JUST AS MUCH OF A RIGHT TO PROTECT OUR KIDS JUST AS MUCH AS THEY DO. SO GUN BANS ON AMERICAN CITIZENS IS NOT FAIR GAME AND IT IS A VIOLATION OF THE 2ND AMENDEMNT. DON’T TRUST CHRISTIE. HE’S A WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

  9. Sounds ok on the service but wasn’t there a ten day waiting period as a federal law some years back that let gun stores and law officers and the FBI take a look at new gun owners where they hoped they could catch people who had a felon record or any other disturbing traits so they could deny gun owner ship to those people? what ever happened to that law?

  10. What ever happened to that federal ten day waiting period that was used too screen out potential problem gun buyers?

  11. Mental health reform (adjudicated mental health reform only ! ) is not what the gun-grabbers in NJ are interested in or want ! Their end game is for total firearms bans/confiscation on law-abidding citizens) ! They dont give a damn about common sense legislation that will actually work or reduce “gun violence” ! The gun-grabbers are parasites and scum and need to be removed from office and jailed for treason !

  12. I know fat boy means well here but he sure is going to catch heat on this one.
    If he intends to make mental health a standard for gun ownership, that will mean Democrats will have to give up their guns.
    Because as everyone knows, the VAST majority of All gun violence is committed by Democrats or their offspring and that simply registering as a Democrat CONFIRMS that an individual is mentally unstable and should not possess a firearm..

  13. Trusting Christie is like reaching into a sackfull of vipers.
    This will only lead to innocent people who are not mentally disturbed being arrested and locked up. It’s the government’s foot in the door to declare anyone mentally disturbed. It’s in the government’s nature to do things this way. All the gov has to do is say that you’re mentally disturbed just because you told someone to f–k off. YOU CAN NOT GIVE THE GOVERNMENT AN INCH.!
    I think there must have been some ‘recall’ rumors and this is his way to gain New Jersey-ite’s approval.

  14. Thanks, Gov. Cristie! This is a good change of direction. When will my out-of-state Concealed Carry Permit be recognized in New Jersey?

  15. At last! A politician who stands for the people he serves! Governor Christie hit the nail on the head by addressing the root of the problem. Mental illness, in one form or another, has been a factor in every mass homicide in America to date. Yet, the antigun crowd wants to blame the inanimate object rather than the killer, punishing millions of innocent, honorable firearm owners in the process. (Another form of mental illness) Focusing on the causes of violence, rather than one of the many tools used to carry it out, is the only reasonable and logical approach if you really want to solve the problem. To his credit, Governor Christie has now set the example all the antigun folks should follow lest they continue to make fools of themselves.

  16. “…to include individuals who are not currently dangerous but whose mental illness, if untreated, could deteriorate to the point of harm…”

    That line scares the heck out of me and should do the same to you. That’s along the same lines as throwing people in prison because they might commit a crime in the future.

    “[Allow the commitment of those who show] an unwillingness to voluntarily comply with treatment.”

    In other words, take these dangerous psychotropic drugs, that evidence is starting to indicate cause more harm than good, or we will lock you up and force you to take it.

    “…provide that a person who has been involuntarily committed to mental health treatment should provide adequate medical evidence to a court to obtain a firearms purchaser identification card or handgun purchase permit.”

    That’s completely bass-ackwards from American judicial standards. It’s the same as reverting to guilty until proven innocent. No, before the government can deny you a right, the burden should be on to prove their case against you, not the other way around.

    While Christie’s proposal may sound good on the surface, it’s just a back door gun control scheme cooked up to make it easier to declare someone mental ill and deny them their 2nd Amendment rights. And don’t worry, if you’re not dangerous now, we’ll claim the potential exists and lock you up anyway, then make it nearly impossible for you to get that “involuntarily committed” firearm disqualification off your record.

  17. Quit giving these people the fame and glory they seek on the CBS Evening News and they will go away. They are not as crazy as they pretend to be. Crazy about becoming instant celebrities, which the media is only too happy to give them. They can’t become famous any other way and the media gives them a cheap fast way to the spotlight. The media knows this and knows that if they quit giving them this, they would go away. But, the media is only concerned with taking away the rights of people who have done nothing. They could care less about solving the problem. Real criminals are of no concern to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>