New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa (R), who Gov. Chris Christie (R) just announced will temporarily fill the U.S. Senate vacancy left by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), supports a gun buyback program that took thousands of guns off of New Jersey’s streets and he says that reinstating the death penalty in his state is not a “good idea.”
Chiesa indicated his opposition to the death penalty in an interview with New Jersey’s public media network. While the incoming senator explained that he supported the death penalty when he was younger, he now opposes it because “in the one instance where you’re not right about that, there’s no way in any way to remedy that decision and the consequences of administering that decision.”
Christie’s choice for the U.S. Senate is also a strong supporter of a gun buyback program, testifying before a state legislative committee that “gun buybacks are helping to make New Jersey safer, and because they’re paid for with criminal forfeiture funds, they don’t cost the taxpayers a penny.” The state’s buyback program, which Chiesa described as “a valuable part of a broader anti-gun-violence strategy,” netted 10,000 firearms as of last month.
The guns purchased in this anti-gun violence program are destroyed. As Chiesa explained, “[t]he weapons we take in are melted down. They can never be stolen and used in a street crime. They can never kill a curious child. They can never turn a traffic dispute into a tragedy, and they can never claim the life of one of our brave police officers.”
He added that “[i]t is sobering to contemplate the amount of lethal firepower that’s out there in our communities just waiting to fall into the wrong hands.”