New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said he does not think the discussion in the days following the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Co. should be on new gun control laws, but rather on letting the families grieve.
Speaking at a press conference in Trenton, N.J. Monday morning, Christie said he believes his state has enough gun control laws and he would not be focusing on new proposals, PolitickerNJ reports. Christie, the reported keynote speaker at next month's Republican National Convention in Florida, said he believes those calling for new laws are focused on "scoring political points."
The governor was asked by reporters at a news conference today whether the state should consider tougher gun laws, and Christie responded by essentially saying “no,” but added now is not the time to have the discussion, either.
“I am a little bit disturbed by politicians who in the immediate aftermath of this type of tragedy, try to grandstand on it, and I’m not going to be one of those people,” Christie said.
“I feel awful for those families,” he said. “And this is just not the appropriate time to be grandstanding about gun laws. Can we at least get through the initial grief and tragedy for these families?”
Christie's comments put him at odds with his state's senior senator, who is vowing to propose new gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting that left 12 dead. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) is reintroducing a measure that would ban high-capacity gun magazines.
The Huffington Post reported Monday that the Senate is unlikely to take up Launtenberg's bill this year. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also renewed his calls for increased gun control measures in the wake of the shooting, as has Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was killed and son wounded in the 1993 shooting aboard a Long Island Railroad commuter train.
This is not Christie's first battle with Lautenberg. The two were at odds earlier this year over Christie's proposed higher education reorganization and Lautenberg's questioning of a top Christie aide over the management of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. During that battle, Christie called Lautenberg "an embarassment to the state." Christie was referring to Lautenberg's questioning of Bill Baroni, the Port Authority's deputy executive director, during a Senate transportation subcommittee hearing.
Lautenberg spokesperson Caley Gray said he believes that Christie has taken to opposing additional gun control measures in an effort to promote his own political ambitions.
"It's sad that Governor Christie's national political ambitions and desire to appeal to the NRA are standing in the way of him joining common-sense gun reform efforts that would make our state and country safer," Gray said in an email to HuffPost.
Christie's office declined to comment.