Chris Christie Is Anti-Guns

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 02: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attends the 3rd Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on May 2, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Bob Owens finds a chink in Governor Chris Christie’s armor: He’s not exactly pro-gun:

How bad is Christie’s record?

Begin with an anti-gun campaign ad he ran in 1995 during his state Assembly run. Christie’s campaign dishonestly referred to the semiautomatic firearms barred under the Clinton administration’s “crime bill” as “automatic assault weapons,” intentionally misrepresenting hunting, plinking, defense, and target rifles as military machine guns. He accused candidates holding the most common conservative Republican position of holding views that were “dangerous,” “crazy,” and “radical.” He stated that the view, shared by Anthony Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll, that the law should be overturned was a “radical plan to legalize assault weapons.” Not only was Christie’s position identical to that of the nanny-state scolds of the left, it was also based upon carefully crafted lies designed to elicit fear.

No thanks to Christie, the federal ban expired in 2004, and the semi-automatic firearms covered under the law (and still illegal in New Jersey) are among the most popular sporting weapons sold in America.

As of 2009, Christie still supports the ban on semi-automatic rifles in New Jersey, and when he decided to run for governor, he chose to campaign to the left of Democrat John Corzine on gun-related issues.

My reaction? Nobody is perfect. Christie’s stance on guns is disappointing, to say the least, but hardly surprising given someone with his law enforcement background. Cops and prosecutors don’t like guns, generally speaking. Christie is probably about as conservative a leader as we could expect New Jersey to elect, and we should appreciate him for his combative fiscal conservatism even if he’s less than optimal on other issues.

This undoubtedly why Christie won’t ever be a Presidential candidate, however. There’s been no small amount of talk on the right about pushing Christie into a Presidential run, but not even Democrat presidential candidates can afford to be as forceful as Christie has been on gun issues. Christie would never get the GOP nomination with his track record on guns.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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