November 10, 2015
Montclair, NJ – At Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.), we are very disappointed to hear that Governor Christie had Conditionally Vetoed A4218, the domestic violence bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Mosquera and State Senator Weinberg. S.O.F.I.A. supported this bill because having clear, strong statewide procedures and structures in place for removing firearms and other weapons from domestic abusers helps advocates assist victims when help is most needed.
We believe that Governor Christie has vetoed a bill that established clear quidelines to help eliminate access to guns by abusers and enhancing much needed protections for domestic violence victims and their families. We urgently disagree with the Governor’s proposals to make easier a domestic violence victim’s access to a firearm. Statistics and tragic experience tells us that a gun in the home, even when intended to protect the victim, can increase the danger and heighten the chance for injury and death of a victim. It is irresponsible and negligent to make it easier for guns to be present in domestic violence situations while refusing to take action to prevent an abuser from having access to guns and other weapons.
Governor Christie pointedly ignored the recommendations and testimony of the domestic violence community, including representatives of S.O.F.I.A., in vetoing this legislation. We are disappointed that Governor Christie refused to listen to voices of reason and decided to reject this sensible legislation.
About S.O.F.I.A.: Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates (S.O.F.I.A.) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that provides advocacy, supportive services and referrals for temporary housing to “at risk” women and children of domestic violence. Our mission is to provide domestic violence victims and survivors with assistance and encourage them to be positive, self-sufficient and successful.