U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said the 21st legislative district’s voters would decide whether Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick’s 100% rating from the National Rifle Association is a good reason to replace him in the legislature.
“It is the people of his legislative district which will make a determination is it a good reason to replace him or not, but I would simply say that you cannot be against reasonable gun safety measures because of the second amendment,” Menendez said. “Any right is totally not an unfettered right. We can’t go into a movie theater and because we get our rocks off of seeing people panic yell out ‘fire, fire.’”
A recent gun scare in Westfield could bring guns as an issue into Bramnick’s re-election race.
Last week, a Westfield police detained a man who allegedly brought a loaded gun and more than 100 rounds of ammunition to a school parking lot.
On Thursday, Bramnick voted against two of eight gun bills before the Assembly.
He voted against a measure setting expiration dates on gun licenses over concerns the bill could lead to criminal charges for law-abiding gun owners and against a bill that would create a smart gun commission that would eventually force firearms retailers to carry at least one smart gun.
Smart guns use biometric locks to prevent discharges by anyone other than the gun’s owner.
He spoke against the former bill on the Assembly floor.
“You can have your NRA record, but you shouldn’t be against reasonable gun safety measures, and that ultimately will be a decision for voters of his district, but I’m sure that increasingly, the realities of gun violence are no longer in cities like Trenton,” Menendez said. “They are in suburban and rural areas as well, as we have seen both here at home in New jersey and across the nation.”
Bramnick and his running mate, Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, face Democrats Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman
The senator’s comments came at a press conference announcing legislation that would ban civilian ownership of gun silencers nationwide.
Silencers are currently illegal in New Jersey, but Pennsylvania and some other states.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman will introduce the bill in the House.
The gunman in a recent mass shooting in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead and four others wounded used a silencer.
Survivors of the shooting said the silenced pistols used by the gunman sounded like nail guns.
“It is not a second amendment right to bear an arm with a silencer. It is not a second amendment right to have an AK47,” Menendez said. “It is not a second amendment right that is infringed upon that ensures that those who get a license to a gun should lawfully possess it.”