The group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is partnering with several New Jersey-area organizations on a grassroots petition urging incoming U.S. Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa to vote in support of what it calls "common-sense gun violence prevention legislation."
The gun-control advocates are working with Garden State groups including Ceasefire New Jersey, the Bergen County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Joint Action Committee, Every Child Matters and Coalition for Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund to convince the government to expand criminal background checks for the purchase of firearms.
“Sen. Frank Lautenberg leaves a long and enduring legacy of voting for gun laws that protect all Americans from gun violence, in particular children and domestic violence survivors,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Though it will be difficult for an interim senator to fill Sen. Lautenberg’s shoes, our organization and the mothers of America will hold Sen. Chiesa accountable for voting with gun sense.”
A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 96 percent of New Jerseyans support expanded background checks.
“Incoming Sen. Chiesa has the rare chance to honor Sen. Lautenberg’s legacy, reflect the clear views of the people of New Jersey and
influence legislation to curb gun violence,” said Jaime Bedrin, a chapter leader for the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This interim appointment is a critical vote should a vote on gun issues return to the Senate floor before a new senator can be elected to Sen. Lautenberg’s seat. We implore Sen. Chiesa to listen to New Jerseyans and continue the work Sen. Lautenberg started on background checks for private gun sales.”
Chiesa, since January 2012 the state's attorney general, was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie to fill Lautenberg's Senate seat until citizens elect a replacement in a special oct. 26 election.
Founded five months ago, shortly after the , Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America now has more than 100,000 members in more than 90 local chapters in 40 states.