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Report calls for more control of guns, games in NJ

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

A panel created by Gov. Chris Christie to address violence called Wednesday for tightening some gun control laws in the state, regulating video games and providing more help for the mentally ill.

The group also recommended that schools have armed police officers but not in ways likely to raise fears of violence.

The NJ Safe Task Force, created after 20 children and six educators were shot dead at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last year, made 50 recommendations in response to the Republican governor's starting point: that he would be willing to consider more gun laws but only in conjunction with addressing mental health and violence in the media.

Christie did not comment on any of the specifics of the plan but said in a statement that he would announce his proposals in the next week to 10 days. The state Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has been trying to push ahead on gun control. In February, it passed 22 bills aimed at increased gun control, but none of the measures has been taken up by the Senate.

State Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat who's expected to win her party's nomination to face Christie in the November gubernatorial election, criticized the Wednesday report for failing to recommend more sweeping gun control measures. She is calling for requiring background checks for private gun sales, limiting ammunition magazine sizes and outlawing military-style weapons.

The task force, led by former state Attorneys General Peter Verniero and John Degnan, did address gun laws; New Jersey's are considered among the strictest in the nation in some ways.

The group said that the state should require that licenses to own firearms be subject to periodic renewal, though it did not settle on how often. It also called for a law to ban straw purchasers, people who buy guns for others.

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