Chris Christie

New Jersey Senate Overrides Christie Veto of Bill to Give Cops a Say in Whether Someone Can Get Mental Health Records Expunged so They Can Legally Own Guns

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New Jersey governor and, so it is rumored, presidential candidate Chris Christie tried to do something sensible for gun owner rights in Jersey, only to be stymied this week by his legislature.

Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

Details from Huffington Post:

The New Jersey Senate voted to override Governor Chris Christie's veto of a gun control bill on Thursday…

Christie…rejected the bill in August after it passed unanimously in both the state Senate and General Assembly….

The New Jersey bill goes further than previous state legislation by requiring notification of local law enforcement prior to expunging the mental health records of people who want to purchase firearms.

Federal law prohibits the purchase of guns by anyone who has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, but a judge can expunge that record if a person is deemed unlikely to endanger the public.

"I cannot endorse a continued path of patchwork proposals and fragmented statutes that add further confusion to an already cumbersome area of law," Christie wrote in his conditional veto….

Chris Christie also played a decent role in the horrible saga of Brian Aitken whose life was severely damaged by absurd application of Jersey's overly punitive gun laws. Christie commuted Aitken's seven-year prison sentence for having legally owned unloaded weapons in his trunk because he was moving from one home to another.

Jacob Sullum on the gun-control folly of obsessing over keeping anyone who interacts with mental health authorities from owning guns.

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  1. Christie commuted Aitken’s seven-year prison sentence for having legally owned unloaded weapons in his trunk because he was moving from one home to another.

    I give you the only person to benefit from New Jersey Democrat Chris Christie’s run for the White House.

    1. It was in the first year of his first term…just settling into the job…an honest mistake on Christie’s part…never happen again…

      1. I don’t remember it being that early in his governorship. I just remember at the time there was already talk of his presidential prospects.

    2. Fuck Christie. That is all.

  2. Brian Aitken and Shaneen Allen are sadly perfect examples of why anybody who calls for strict gun laws does not give a shit about overincarceration.

    1. The people who want strict gun laws consider the actions of Brian Aitken and Shaneen Allen to be malum in se crimes. To them, legalized gun ownership is the moral equivalent of the old marriage exception to rape laws, or the antebellum legality of slavery. That owning and carrying guns is (in some places) legal is a loophole. And the idea that such actions are Constitutionally-guaranteed rights is an abomination.

      If they could figure out how, they’d want the Supreme Court to strike down the 2nd Amendment as being unconstitutional.

  3. So Chris Christie only sucks on guns a little more than Bernie Sanders but less than Hillary Clinton.

    1. That’s a maybe also. He’s in the primary and this was a unanimously passed bill. There was no downside whatsoever to him vetoing it even if he wanted it to pass.

      1. It’s not like he vetoed it out of some right to bear arms philosophy. Look at that last line:

        “I cannot endorse a continued path of patchwork proposals and fragmented statutes that add further confusion to an already cumbersome area of law,” Christie wrote in his conditional veto….

        It’s only because it didn’t streamline the statutes. And knowing his stances on the WoD, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he was saying that as it not making it easier to fuck with gun owners/people trying to buy a gun.

  4. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Yeah I’m not really seeing how this could be legal under HIPAA. Not that the Jersey legislature gives a shit.

      1. But who’s going to challenge it?

        Its not like the courts would ever preemptively challenge an blatantly illegal law *before* it has the chance to cause harm to someone *who has the time and money to seek redress*.

        Government can do whatever it likes until one of those dudes shows up.

    2. Umm…. why? A court ruling to expunge is not a medical record.

      1. Dear Chief of Police

        We expunged a record.

        Signed,

        Clerk of The Court

        Are you really so dense that you think this is what is going to be sent?

        1. Nice strawman.

          Even if they sent the entire record of court proceedings leading to the expungement along with the judge’s opinion, that wouldn’t violate HIPAA. Judicial proceedings are not medical records.

          Some people seem to think that HIPAA forbids the police from knowing anything vaguely related to one’s health. Those people need to educate themselves a little better.

          1. You made a strawman of the entire law.

            The law says the police are to be notified before the record is expunged. So they can obtain the record.

            You really are dense, aren’t you?

  5. You know, I’m thinking that, when I become dictator of my own little country, as part of how my governmental process, Congress will have to send new legislation to the President and he will have to agree in order for it to become law. But he will have unilateral authority to veto any law made by congress, at any time, for any reason. Congress will not be able to override this veto.

    At the same time, ‘Executive Orders’ or anything resembling law or regulation making authority will be denied to the president (and the Executive branch in general).

    1. Errr…if you’re the dictator, why do you need a president and congress? Are you adopting the Iranian parliamentary model, or is it just an image thing?

      1. C’mon man – I ain’t got time to be paying attention to all the minutia. I’ve got a *dictatorsip to maintain*, not a country to run. That shit is for peasants. I’ll just pop in randomly and pick someone to feed the woodchipper for poorly defined transgressions and the rest will stay in line and keep me in castles, coke, cars, and women.

        Plus there’s all the wars I’ll need to poorly manage. I’ll look spiffy with 6 stars on – take that American pig-dogs!

        1. So every now and then you’ll woodchip a congressman (not a true threat) and give a table pounding speech on not tolerating corruption so that the peons will sings folk songs about you while you systematically fleece and oppress them? I like the way you think…

          1. I think I’ll have a woodchipper placed front and center in the House and Senate’s Chambers, along with one in a room a short distance down the hallway to the President’s office, one where he has to walk by the door everyday.

            And one in the Supreme Court’s courtroom also.

      2. Octavian and many others found the pretense useful.

    2. Any impediment to legislation is a good thing, just as any means to repeal legislation is a good thing.

      For it to be passed, it better be important. And if it is unpopular, it should be repealed.

      Government legislation should respect the laws of society, not tell society what is the law.

      1. I’ve been thinking that legislation to be implemented that currently requires a 50%+ margin for victory that it should be 67 or 75%.

        Anything that currently requires a super-majority would now require a unanimous vote.

        All laws have a 5 year sunset provision.

        Each individual ‘code’ in the CFR would require its own individual yes vote to both be made law in the first place and to be renewed. And no ‘vote to renew CFR 1-10000000000’ bills. Each code has to be entered into the Record individually with no riders.

        Riders in general are disallowed.

        A 1/3 vote would be required for *removing* a law before that 5 years was up.

        And it all has to be submitted to SC review before being submitted to the Pres for approval.

        1. We really need to get a ‘crowd-sourced constitution’ project going.

          1. For some reason I read that as “crowd-sourced prostitution”.

        2. I like the way you think!

          Let’s add a couple more:

          The President shall serve only one term, at the end of which he will be given the option of hanging or a firing squad.

          All congressmen (and women) may serve only one term, after which they will no longer be eligible to hold any public office or governmental post, or vote in any civic election.

          All governmental employees may be employed for no more than seven years, after which they may never again work for any governmental body, hold any elected post, or vote in any civic election (this includes public school teachers!).

          Any citizen shall be able to challenge any law; the legal concept of “standing” will not be allowed to keep a citizen from pursuing such a challenge. Once the challenge has been ruled in favor of at any level, it will be null even while higher courts consider its Constitutionality.

          1. How do you feel about decapitation?

            If you catch the (Ex)presidents head, you get the job!

            (stolen from Decamp)

            1. too Islamic.

  6. Guilty until proven innocent.

  7. This only means that even New Jersey’s Republicans are sick to death of Christie.

    1. I can’t believe Fat Boy is a copy fellator. Who’d a thunk it.

      1. Cop fellator.
        Autocorrect sucks worse than Christie

  8. When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

    -Rudyard Kipling, “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”, 1919

    1. Monty, as an addendum to that, let me recommend “MacDonough’s Song” by the same author. But I’ll bet you (and a lot of the commentariat) already know it.

  9. The New Jersey bill goes further than previous state legislation by requiring notification of local law enforcement prior to expunging the mental health records of people who want to purchase firearms.

    Anyone want to bet that the rejection rate will be less than 110%, and every applicant won’t get a just-in-case SWAT visit?

    1. The bill doesn’t give the police a veto over expungement, it just requires that they be informed that the process is taking place. In many cases they would probably argue to the judge that expungement shouldn’t happen, but the decision is still the judge’s alone.

      1. In many cases they would probably argue to the judge that expungement shouldn’t happen, but the decision is still the judge’s alone.

        I have a bridge to sell you…

  10. “New Jersey governor and, so it is rumored, presidential candidate Chris Christie tried to do something sensible for gun owner rights in Jersey”
    No, he was not being sensible. He was trying to appease the conservatives in the early primary states.
    He already signed ten new gun control laws, which increase red tape, allow for increased confiscation of vehicles, up the sentence for offenders and reduce transparency.
    He may give lip service to republican ideas of gun ownership, but he is anti-libertarian.

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  12. Since it passed unanimously, Christie could support the thing and yet veto it just to pander to both sides should the need arise.

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