When Sussex County’s Republican state representatives manage to distinguish themselves, it’s not in a good way. Exhibit A: Assembly members Gail Phoebus and Parker Space were the only two people in the entire bicameral legislature to vote “no” on a bill that would make it harder for domestic violence offenders to get their hands on legal guns.
The bill “[E]nhances protections for domestic violence victims by restricting access to firearms by certain persons; provides for minimum terms of incarceration for offenders who commit physically violent acts.” It was sponsored in both the state Senate and the Assembly by both parties and passed overwhelmingly by members of both parties as well.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Firearms were used to kill more than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1990 and 2005.
Domestic violence assaults involving a firearm are 12 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons or bodily force.”
That New Jersey now prohibits those convicted of domestic violence offenses—or who are the object of a restraining order—from owning or buying guns is seen by most people as a good thing.
Unless you represent Sussex County.
State Sen. Steve Oroho displayed his political courage by not voting on the bill.