Chris Christie on Gun Control
CHRISTIE: If you look at my record as governor of New Jersey, I have vetoed a 50-caliber rifle ban. I have vetoed a reduction this clip size. I vetoed a statewide I.D. system for gun owners and I pardoned, six out-of-state folks who came through our state and were arrested for owning a gun legally in another state so they never have to face charges. Two years ago, Marco called me a conservative reformer that New Jersey needed. That was before he was running against me. Now that he is, he's changed his tune. I'm never going to change my tune. I like Marco Rubio. He would be a heck of a lot better president than Hillary Rodham Clinton would ever be.
CHRISTIE: I think these are state-by-state determinations.
CHRISTIE: I don't think there is. But I'll tell you this, I'm very concerned about the mental health side of this. Let's do some tough things on mental health, let's make involuntary commitment of people who speak violently easier for doctors. I think that makes sense. But let's remember something else, in many of the places around this country where they have the toughest gun laws, they have the highest violent crime rates. Violence in America that's happened on our streets in our cities, like Chicago, up 19 percent, the murder rate. New York, up 11 percent. And you have some of the most aggressive gun laws in cities like that. So let's enforce the law.
A: When you look at what we've done in New Jersey, we want to control violence. And some of that may involve firearms, but a lot of it doesn't. In fact, my focus has been on making sure that mental health is done in a much more aggressive way. Every time we see one of these incidents happen across our country, it is almost exclusively with a deeply disturbed person at the helm, and what we need to do is be much more aggressive about how we deal with mental health issues in this country. So I am for violence control.
Q: But gun control is part of it.
A: Well, it can be. And I've signed some of those measures, but I've also vetoed measures that I thought were overreaching and not consistent with 2nd Amendment rights. It is looking at these things case by case, to see does it make common sense, does it control violence? We need to not pander on these issues. We need to have adults in the room who make decisions based upon controlling violence in our society.
Buono said she believes Christie changed his mind after he received a letter from gun rights advocates in New Hampshire, the site of the nation's first presidential primary.
"The issue which has energized me to get into this race is the recent attempt by certain Republican legislators to repeal NJ's ban on assault weapons.
"I believe that each state should have the right to make firearms laws as they see fit. I don't believe it's right for the federal government to get into the middle of this and decide firearms laws for the people of the state of NJ," Christie told "The Record" in July 2009.
Q: Are there any issues where you are moderate to left as a Republican?
A: I favor some of the gun-control measures we have in NJ.
Q: Bad idea.
A: We have a densely populated state, and there's a big handgun problem in NJ. On certain gun control issues, looking at it from a law-enforcement perspective, seeing how many police officers were killed, we have an illegal gun problem in NJ.
Q: Should every citizen in your state be allowed to get a licensed weapon if they want one?
A: In NJ, that's not going to happen.
A: With the Democratic legislature we have, there's no way those type of things--
Q: Would you support it?
A: What I support are commonsense laws that will allow people to protect themselves, but I also am very concerned about the safety of our police officers on the streets, very concerned. And I want to make sure that we don't have an abundance of guns out there"
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