Today State Senator Weinberg and Governor Codey’s bill regarding “smart guns” was presented to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee for consideration. This new bill rescinds the current mandate that all gun stores in NJ must sell only smart guns by 3 years after one has been sold commercially in the US. In place of that mandate, Sen Weinberg makes this compromise: all gun stores must sell at least one model of a smart gun (within that same 3 year definition.)
I was one of the last people to testify. This was my brief testimony to the committee, more or less:
“Hello. My name is Katherine Allen Roth. I am representing the 410 adult members of the Unitarian Church in Summit, as well as the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey.
Two years ago, my Summit congregation voted to take a stand against gun violence. That vote enables me, the lay “Point Person” on this topic, to speak for the church.
Unitarian Universalists have a long history of taking a stand against gun violence. Our basic first principle is to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of human life.
We are encouraged by the efforts of “Do Not Stand Idly By,” a group of clergy and lay leaders, who are similarly acting on and following moral and religious principles, in their organization of this past summer’s “Smart-gun Gun Show.”
Both the tragic frequency of mass shootings and the loss of 80 to 90 Americans per day compel us to act . . . I know that I am reiterating here what others have already said today.
But I do want to say that in our congregation, we have been referring to this technology as a “child-proof” gun, not a “smart gun.” We believe that it will be particularly effective in preventing teen suicides and children’s accidental shootings. It will protect our children. So I urge you to support this bill. Thank you.”
After I finished, Senator Greenstein, chairwoman, agreed that this technology will primarily help protect children, and therefore the name “Child-Proof Gun,” is appropriate.
Photo: (l to r) Mandi Perlmutter, Coordinator of Advocacy and Community Engagement, National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section, New Jersey State Senator Loretta WeinbergKathy Allen-Roth