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NJ Residents for Action, Gun Advocates Demonstrate at Congressman Lance's Office

Gun owners and those seeking stronger gun control legislation voiced their opinions.

NJ Residents for Action Against Gun Violence were joined by vocal gun advocates outside Congress Leonard Lance's Westfield office Wednesday afternoon. 

The grassroots group, organized by Westfield resident Karen Egert following the shooting massacre at the Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook elementary school, demonstrated to show their support for "common sense gun laws." Their mission includes the following:  

  • A federal ban on the sale and manufacturing of military-style assault weapons
  • A federal ban on the sale and manufacturing of high-capacity ammunition magazines (with a limit of 10 rounds per magazine)
  • To get elected officials to fully support The Fix Gun Checks Act (H.R. 137), which would require instant criminal background checks for every gun sale and close the “private sale loophole.”

But gun proponent Greg Ziolkowski Sr. of Metuchen, who was joined by a large crowd of gun owners and advocates, said "it's not about guns, it's about liberty." 

"This is about protecting and defending the individual rights that have been handed down to us that we want to hand down to future generations," he said.

Kim Molinelli of Colonia stood beside Ziolkowski with her preschooler Joe, attending his first protest, in his stroller. "I'm in favor of the least amount of federal government involvement possible," she said. 

NJ Residents for Action president Karen Egert, who organized the demonstration which began at 1 p.m., said she anticipated opposition as the groups stood side by side. "This is what democracy looks like," she said.  

As polarizing as the issue of gun control is, there was even division among those who came out in support of NJ Residents for Action. Gabe Kardos of Mountainside was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1977. Since then Kardos said he has been hospitalized 22 times to adjust his medication and find the right “chemical cocktail.”

“I don’t feel guns should be available to those who are not qualified to own them,” he said. “I should not be able to walk into a gun show and buy a gun. I should be kicked out. It’s only fair, just, and practical to prevent people like me from obtaining weapons. If my medication isn’t working and I start thinking everyone is an alien, I shouldn’t be able to get my hands on an AK-47.”

But Tom Crownover of Plainfield does not believe the problem with gun violence has anything to do with mental health. Rather, Crownover said he supports U.S. Representative Adam Schiff’s (D-California) call to limit legal immunity for gun manufacturers and gun distributors.

Crownover explained that in 2005, at the urging of the gun industry, Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed into law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which limits civil liability suits brought against gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

“Without tort liability, there’s no incentive to make guns safer,” Crownover said. “Congress enables makers and sellers of guns.”

Union County Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, who stood alongside NJ Residents for Action, said Union County will soon be announcing a gun buyback day.

“I think the majority of people are on the right side of this issue,” she said.

NJ Residents for Action Against Gun Violence urged supporters to visit their website at njresidentsforaction.com while Ziolkowski suggested gun advocates take a look at http://nj2as.com/

Devilsfan February 22, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Karen you don't even know what NJ allows and disallows. I see why you don't believe in God as he forgot to give you brains or you would have researched that a NJ resident can purchase a legal AR-15. So there's no reason for the NRA to take it to the Supreme court nor is there any new federal law to take to the Supreme Court. Stop acting on your emotions and understand the issue! I'm still waiting for your position on Abortion the true killer of millions of children if you really care about the children and saving lives.
HL February 22, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Karen......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrAbG9HtwM listen to the felon at about 2:50
Marc February 22, 2013 at 02:56 AM
^ In case that link didn't come up for some of you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrAbG9HtwM
Devilsfan February 22, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Karen...children are executed everyday by Planned Parenthood. When are you going to lead the charge to ban most Abortions? When Karen? When will you try to stop these executions????
S_O_G February 22, 2013 at 09:31 PM
so why were people from your group harassing the LOCAL, LOCAL, LOCAL mayor at home about this?
karen egert February 23, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Marc -- you mean that . You'd be willing to DIE for my right to free speech ? Wow -- hmmmm
Greg Z February 23, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Karen, The person RESPONSIBLE for the VA tech Tragedy purchased that gun LEGALLY although the school that chose to be politically correct $$$ FAILED to address his KNOWN psychological problems. He was also an ALIEN student in OUR country. Who should NOT be entitled to OUR Constitutional 2A Rights unless they go through the process required to become a LEGAL Law-Abiding citizen. IMO That school also VOTED in previous months to be a "GUN FREE ZONE." Feel free to check the facts before you write comments based on emotions. FYI - A NJ resident can NOT buy a fiream in PA WITHOUT going through a mandatory background check to get a NJ Firearms I.D. card. Which requires 3 sets of fingerprints submitted to the FBI, SBI & Local Police. Then entered into a NATIONAL Data Base. Including 2 personal references and 1 from your employer which MUST be returned to your local Police Dept. Then you MUST pass a additonal NICS check at the FFL (FEDERAL firearms LICENSD) dealer in ALL 50 states to buy the LEGAL firearm. REMEMBER the Fingerprints that were enetered into a NATIONAL Data Base? N = NATIONAL (ALL 50 States) I = INSTANT C = CRIMINAL S = SYSTEM This administration will place NO blame on criminals, gangs or illegals. This is NOT about guns. This is about dismantling the Constitution and a direct ATTACK on Individual Rights. I though jobs were the # 1 priority in America? This is a distraction because they FAILED as leaders to deliver their promise.
Greg Z February 23, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I guess you take pride in the liberal democrats who are trying to save the world by killing America. Notice how this administration will place NO blame on gangs, criminals or illegals. How is your 1 gun a month leader corzine doing? I guess if you can buy only 1 car a month there would be no more accidents or rod rage? Hmmm? Where is the $$$ corzine was responsible for? How is your gun control leader jessie jackson jr doing? Nice $43K Rolex he bought with YOUR Money? What about YOUR gun control leader eric holder who was in charge of the FAILED Operation Fast & Furious that resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry? How about YOUR gun control leader menendez? This is NOT about guns. This is about dismantling the Constitution. They want to destroy your Individual Rights And make you dependent on government. What happened to jobs being a number 1 priority in America? Guess you can't remember what you read on a teleprompter? You picked some good ones to get YOU to do their dirty work and distract the public because they have FAILED as leaders in their community to address the real problems and those who cause them. This administration will place NO blame on criminals, gangs or illegals. Or the parents who KNOW their kids are on the street breaking the law. Now they have you HELPING them destroy the country.
Greg Z February 23, 2013 at 02:19 AM
The Second Amendment is the ONE Right that PROTECTS ALL the others. The 2A protects all the others from a tyrannical over-reaching government that wants to take them away. That is why you have them in the First place. The First Amendment puts them in writing. And the Second Amendment protects the First. The First and Second Amendment go hand-in-hand. Treat them with respect and pass them down to the next generation as the previous generations did for you! If you really want to solve the problems in America. Focus more on following the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.
Greg Z February 23, 2013 at 02:20 AM
The Second Amendment is the ONE Right that PROTECTS ALL the others. The 2A protects all the others from a tyrannical over-reaching government that wants to take them away. That is why you have them in the First place. The First Amendment puts them in writing. And the Second Amendment protects the First. The First and Second Amendment go hand-in-hand. Treat them with respect and pass them down to the next generation as the previous generations did for you! If you really want to solve the problems in America. Focus more on following the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights.
Marc February 23, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Yes. These Constitutional rights (ALL of them) of ours are THAT important and are much bigger than any one individual. PLENTY have already died for your (and my) 1st Amendment rights...but you of course know that already. I hope. :-)
HL February 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM
“Without tort liability, there’s no incentive to make guns safer,” Crownover said. “Congress enables makers and sellers of guns.” ------what exactly should the industry do to make guns safer.... remove the triggers??? wth is that comment ---
HL February 23, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Marc- thinking Karen cant comprehend you or anyone else would put yourself on the line for our rights... all she and those like her know how to do is follow the leader...... she still hasnt answered what method she would use if ever caught in a do or die situation
Lori Bennett February 23, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Do gun laws work? Because strong gun laws are clearly associated with lower death rates, legislators should work to save lives in their communities by enacting smart gun laws. http://smartgunlaws.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/gunlawsanddeathrates4.jpg
Brad Schaeffer February 23, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Karen. I'm not sure why that would surprise you. Take a trip to the Arlington Cemetery and you will find the graves of 400,000 brave Americans who have given their lives to preserve our rights. Gettysburg is a tad closer. You will find 3,500 there who gave their "last full measure of devotion." (It's much more difficult to preserve liberty that to strip it away.)
c February 23, 2013 at 11:30 PM
As detailed in a February 21 press release, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) are pressing U.S. Attorney Gen Eric Holder and the Justice Department to explain why they have failed to prosecute the vast majority of convicted felons and fugitives from justice who are failing background checks under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. "While we understand that not every denial needs to be prosecuted, every case involving a fugitive from justice or felon in possession of a firearm should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," wrote Graham and Gowdy. On Feb 22, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary--led by Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)--sent letters to President Obama and Holder demanding answers on lack of prosecutions and enforcement of our nation's existing gun laws. In letter to the President, the committee noted that, during Obama's administration, "federal firearms prosecutions have fallen to the lowest levels in over a decade." In a committee press release, Chairman Goodlatte said, "Before the President demands that Congress push through legislation to stifle the rights of law-abiding citizens, he should take care to enforce the laws that are already on the books." "We must all be looking for ways to prevent senseless acts of violence and the taking of innocent life but the best place to start would be enforcing the laws that Congress has already enacted," concluded Goodlatte.
Greg Z February 24, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Let's see how well your logic works. Ban all GM cars. "If it only saves 1 life" There would be NO more car accidents. You clearly don't understand what is taking place here. You have an administration who is hiding behind the 2A. Because they have NO real solutuions. They are ALL talk. I thought their # 1 priority was jobs? Hmmmm??? Guess they can't remember what they read on a teleprompter. This administration will place NO blame on criminals, gangs or illegals. They only want to place more restrictions on law-abiding citizens. Because this is NOT about guns. This is about dismantling the Constitution. And USING these Tragedies push THEIR agenda. Which is NO secret if your eyes are open. This administration is a complete FAILURE. And using YOU as THEY hide behind the 2A.. Because they FAILED to deliver their FALSE pomises. This 2A issue is a distraction to take the focus off THEIR FAILURES. How about that executive order obama used to protect eric holder from THEIR FAILED Operation Fast & Furious that resulted in the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry? This is the same administration that is USING YOU to do their dirty work. Trying to divide and conquer the country. They liberal progressives who are trying to save the world by killing America. And take YOU down with it....
Greg Z February 24, 2013 at 02:28 AM
This administration will place NO blame on criminals, gangs, illegals or themselves. That is their biggest voting bloc....
HL February 24, 2013 at 02:38 AM
LKB theres nothing there to there to back up the claim..... just stats on deaths, hows CHICAGO for proof they dont work ?
Greg Z February 24, 2013 at 02:46 AM
It is amazing who quick people comment when they don't know the facts. If you did.... You would know that a firearm manufacture will waste NO time to send a buyer of a broken gun (unsafe condition) a pre-paid address label to get the firearm back to fix the problem immediately. Every proffession has a bad apple whether your a police officer etc. Gun grabbing politicians seem to be breaking new records in breaking the law. eric holder, jessie jackson jr and his wife, corzine and menendez. But the MAJORITY of Legal firearm owners are among the safest people around. Although it is a rare situation for a new firearm to break. The firearm manufacture(s) respond way faster than an any of the automobile makers. See this is the problem. These people think they are an expert on guns when they never owned one or went through the intense background check in NJ to get one. ALL these bills are designed to disarm the law-abiding public. This administration will place NO blame criminals, gangs or illegals or themselves. Because thisis their biggest voting bloc....
Greg Z February 24, 2013 at 02:51 AM
I want to see the gun control advocates that are doing the dirty work for eric holder, corzine, jessie jackson jr and menendez (all with a long gun grabbing record like pelosi, bloomberg and obama) have one of their gun ban demonstrations in Newark, Camden or Trenton at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. No police and no guns to protect themselves with. Like to see them put their $ where ther mouth is....
HL February 24, 2013 at 03:24 AM
mb , "If you were a criminal, should society make it easy for you to acquire guns while we hold law-abiding citizens to a higher standard?" poitn being they are criminals, they dont follow laws....law abiding follow them as they do now--- already 22000 laws on the books nationally---- obviously criminals arent obeying----- stop the plea bargaining and deal making send them all to jail, --all this does it make it harder for sane law abiding people
HL February 24, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Greg Z you have a better chance of having a beer with Jesus of ever seeing that--
Marc February 24, 2013 at 08:18 AM
They won't EVER do THAT...but they'll simply blame firearms of course as the sole reason why they fear attempting it.
Marc February 25, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Yes, in some cities/towns, 'some' of the firearms laws do work. And some of them do nothing at all other than make it more difficult for someone like YOU, a law abiding, tax paying, honorable member of the community, to obtain proper protection for yourself as well. But I'm curious just how you feel about a city or even an entire state where regular/'run of the mill' civilians (NOT members of law enforcement) are permitted to actually carry their firearms on them (not just in their car/truck but literally on their person at all times) almost everywhere that they go? New Jersey residents are generally NOT permitted to do this of course, but I'm wondering how you feel the level of firearm violence/homicide fares in those states that allow this? I think you'd be SHOCKED at how well a society that is largely (and legally) well armed with handguns on their person actually behaves and functions overall.
Greg Z February 25, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I've been and worked in many states where the 2A is not infringed. Not only do you find more responsible adults. You will also find more responsible children. Who were raised by more responsible adults.
Greg Z February 25, 2013 at 02:47 AM
Looks like our elected officals don't follow the law either. This administration will place NO blame on criminals, gangs or illegals.
Really April 16, 2013 at 03:29 PM
The laws are very strict on obtaining a gun license. There is local access to the outside gun range on Sundays for practice and I heard also on on Tooker Avenue somewhere???????
c April 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
As you all may know, the Senate voted down the first group of anti-constitution, people control bills yesterday, including the illegal gun registration scheme posing as the Trojan Horse called the Expanded Background Check. The "assault" gun ban failed also likely because there is no such thing. These devious people tried to make the MSR or modern sporting rifle, which is among the most popular rifle sold today, illegal, but failed.
c August 17, 2013 at 06:08 AM
On Friday, Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed a trio of anti-gun bills after nearly seven months of contentious public debate. Misguided anti-gun state lawmakers introduced more than 80 anti-gun bills at the beginning of the year. By this summer, more than a dozen bills cleared both legislative chambers and were sent to the Governor for his consideration and action. Earlier this month, Governor Christie signed ten of those gun bills into law, but he left three deeply flawed bills without action. Of all the legislation introduced, the three bills vetoed today were the most egregious. S.2723, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-03), was the “centerpiece” bill of the gun control package. This bill received a conditional veto, meaning that the bill is dead unless the state Legislature convenes and readopts this bill in a form that meets the Governor’s approval. The state Legislature can also override this veto with a two-thirds vote. That prospect is very unlikely given the current composition of the state Legislature. The veto message specifically cites sections of this bill which were not acceptable. Specifically, the Governor scratched the portions requiring mandatory training for firearm ownership and the section that would have banned private transactions. Governor Christie also struck a component of this bill which would have encoded permit holder information on a new ID card, such as a driver’s license. A.3659, sponsored by Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18), was vetoed in its entirety. If enacted into law, this bill would have banned .50 caliber firearms. The NRA argued in public testimony that these firearms are used by competitive shooters and collectors, and are not misused in crime. Governor Christie agreed. A.3797, sponsored by Assemblymen Charles Mainor (D-31) and Tim Eustace (D-38), received a conditional veto. If enacted, this bill would have required the State Police to issue reports on gun trace data, which is clearly a violation of federal law. NRA members and other sensible people, including numerous new gun owners did a tremendous job contacting state legislators and the Governor. Although anti-gun lawmakers ignored constituent messages and in some cases severely restricted public testimony, gun owners prevailed today as the Governor made the right decision on the three most consequential bills. The NRA-ILA will continue to work actively against anti-gun bills and push for legislation that corrects many of the flaws in current law in the future. Please contact Governor Chris Christie and thank him for striking down these three gun control bills. You can contact the Governor at 609-292-6000, or send an email using the online contact form.

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