Lonegan: Gun Bills Threaten Constitutional Liberties

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Mike Proto

February 28, 2018

Lonegan: Gun Bills Threaten Constitutional Liberties

Trenton, N.J. -- 5th District Republican Congressional candidate Steve Lonegan took a strong stand today against a number of gun bills being proposed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Lonegan warned that the sweeping package of bills represents a dangerous overreach that threatens Constitutional liberties and the rights of law-abiding citizens.

In testimony provided to the committee, Lonegan took particular aim at Assembly Bill 1217, indicating the legislation would violate New Jersey citizen's right to due process.

Below is Mr. Lonegan’s full testimony on A1217.

Testimony of Steve Lonegan on Assembly Bill 1217 Assembly Judiciary Committee February 28, 2018

In 1971, a group of possibly well-meaning but misguided politicians imposed the Civil Authorities Special Powers Act, which allowed government to take away peoples' rights without charging them with a crime. It was meant to be a response to violence, but only made matters worse in Northern Ireland.

In considering Assembly Bill 1217, the New Jersey Legislature should recall the words of George Will, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, who reminded us of the dangers of "overcriminalization." After the death of Eric Garner, which was the result of the New York Legislature sending in the police to enforce a state tax on cigarettes, Will warned legislators that there are potentially grave consequences every time they make a new law and then send in men with guns to enforce it.

Will said: "Overcriminalization has become a national plague. And when more and more behaviors are criminalized, there are more and more occasions for police, who embody the state’s monopoly on legitimate violence, and who fully participate in humanity’s flaws, to make mistakes."

Assembly Bill 1217 is open to abuse and has the potential to create many more situations with violent outcomes than those it seeks to prevent. And, as written, there is no recourse or penalty if the law and its potentially violent outcome were triggered by a simple misunderstanding or a false or malicious report.


Steve Lonegan Speaks The Hearing In Trenton

Steve Lonegan for Congress