Mahwah Urges Ban of ‘Military-Style’ Weapons
Town Council will send letters to the Governor, President and other state and federal lawmakers urging the ban of guns like those used in recent school shootings
Mahwah lawmakers made clear Thursday night that they believe “military-style” weapons, like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting last month, should be illegal.
The township council passed a resolution Thursday night instructing the township clerk to send a letter to President Barack Obama, Governor Chris Christie, and other state and federal lawmakers urging them to pass legislation that would ban the sale, possession and use of “military-style high-capacity automatic, and military-style semiautomatic” weapons.
Township attorney Andy Fede said he drafted the resolution carefully after being asked by the township council to create a formal statement about its stance on control of high-capacity weapons.
“There is a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety,” Fede said Thursday night at a township council meeting. “But, it is still a very fluid area of the law.”
Council President Harry Williams commented that he felt it is important for the township to let state and federal lawmakers know its position that “there needs to be some review of these laws.”
In the resolution, Fede cited the 2008 Supreme Court decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller, which he quoted as saying the right to bear arms is “not unlimited.” The Mahwah resolution goes on to say that based on this decision, the Second Amendment is “subject to reasonable regulation in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare.”
The resolution specifically calls out recent school shootings as the impetus behind the call out for stricter gun control laws.
The “township council is shocked and saddened by the recent senseless shooting of young elementary school children and school personnel in Newtown, Conn., which is only one among many mass shootings in recent times,” it states.
The resolution is the second public statement made by township officials on gun control since the December shooting. Last month, Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet was one of about 750 mayors across the country who sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to support changes in gun ownership legislation.