A shooting at Michigan State University where New Jersey native Anthony McRae killed three people on Monday could have been prevented if “liberal soft-on-crime” gun policies didn’t allow him to sidestep a felony gun charge in 2019, Republican State Sen. Doug Steinhardt (R-Lopatcong) said.
“Instead of being prosecuted for the felony gun crime for which he was arrested, he was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges that allowed him to continue owning guns,” Steinhardt said. “If not for that failure, the tragic loss of life at MSU likely would not have occurred.”
Steinhardt says that had McRae been convicted of a felony gun charge nearly three years ago instead of taking a prosecutor’s plea deal to a lesser misdemeanor charge of possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, he would have been banned from owning a gun.
The prosecutor, Carol Sieman, cited “dramatic racial inequity” as her reason for not charging McRae with a felony, said Steinhardt.
“There absolutely is a direct link between liberal soft-on-crime policies and violent crime at MSU and elsewhere,” Steinhardt stated. “Despite what liberals believe, holding criminals who illegally possess and use guns accountable isn’t racist, it’s public safety. Time after time, Democrats have used their own prosecutorial failures as an excuse to fearmonger and target the constitutional rights of law-abiding firearm owners who want to protect themselves from actual criminals. We’re not falling for it any longer.”
Steinhardt announced that would introduce legislation that would make it tougher for prosecutors to enter into plea agreements with prior convictions or violent gun crime charges. His bill would mandate the collection of data on gun prosecutions.
“We need to stop the revolving door in the justice system that gives repeat gun criminals a slap on the wrist before returning them to the communities they’ve already victimized,” Steinhardt said. “Democrats, like the former prosecutor in Michigan, insist that’s not happening, but they’re delusional. We’re going to collect the data here in New Jersey that proves it.”