BY BOB HOLT
A gun rights rally organized by the Second Amendment Society drew several hundred people to the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse on Friday.
The activists wanted to make it clear that their biggest concern was not guns, but retaining their Second Amendment rights.
New Jersey Second Amendment Society president Frank Fiamingo said, according to Politicker NJ, “We’re here to let the rest of New Jersey understand that the Second Amendment is not about guns. … It’s about protecting our freedom and our liberty.”
After the rally was over, Assembly Democrats announced they would push a package of 24 gun control bills, through the legislative process next week. According to NorthJersey.com, their priorities were measures prohibiting magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds and that all private gun sales be required to have background checks.
Governor Chris Christie has appointed a task force that will investigate causes of violence and how to prevent it. Christie turned down an invitation to speak at the rally, according to an Associated Press report in the Connecticut Post, citing scheduling conflicts.
Christie has not taken a stand on his support of stricter gun laws. New Jersey has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Christie later said he didn’t know whether he would have gone to the rally if it had fit into his schedule, according to phillyburbs.com.
The governor didn’t say whether he would meet with the Second Amendment group in the future.
Conservative Senator Michael Doherty, representing parts of Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren counties, was one of the rally’s speakers. He said, according to phillyburbs.com, “You folks are law-abiding citizens who work hard to take care of your families, and you don’t want your rights trampled on. We want to defend our families. We want to defend our businesses. We want to protect our homes. And yes, we want to be free.”