Stephen Sweeney ran for state Senate in New Jersey in 2002. At that time, he had an “A” rating from the NRA, and curried favor with gun groups such as the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society (NJ2AS). Sweeney met with their leadership, shook their hands, and promised that he would never do anything to infringe upon the gun rights of New Jersey citizens. The NJ2AS got behind Sweeney, and pushed their base to help get him elected by a very slim margin of around 5,400 votes.
Now, thirteen years later, the NJ2AS is leading the campaign to have Stephen Sweeney recalled and removed from office.
So where did it all go wrong?
Sweeney’s credibility on the gun issue has dwindled over the years, and after the Sandy Hook shooting he met with some of the families of the victims, and agreed to help advance a bill restricting the capacity of magazines from 15 bullets to 10. He has since changed his tune on guns entirely, and that “A” rating from the NRA seems a distant memory as he now holds the scarlet letter “F” rating from the same group.
So what’s the big deal about some anti-gun state Senator in New Jersey? Aren’t they pretty much a dime a dozen?
Well now Stephen Sweeney is not merely a state Senator, he is the state Senate President, with enormous power over what bills go forward in the New Jersey State Senate.
The RecallSweeney website had this to say about Sweeney’s ammunition bill:
Under Sweeney’s currently proposed legislation, a criminal who uses 2 separate 10 round magazine gets NO ADDITIONAL PUNISHMENT (he must think that’s okay) versus – a criminal act which uses 20 bullets will result in a criminal getting an additional 10 years of incarceration (+10 year mandatory sentence = 20 – 10 maximum new threshold). This solution targets the problem New Jersey is facing today; versus Sweeney’s fantasy legislation meant to solely appease his constituents and the left leaning media; based on an event which has never occurred in over 225 years in the State of NJ – which already has the strongest anti-gun laws in the USA.
This bill did in fact pass last year, but luckily it was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie, in another one of his latest pro-gun maneuvers, including the pardon of Shaneen Allen and the commutation of Brian Aitken’s sentence. Despite his stated anti-gun views in the past, Christie does seem to be padding that pro-gun resume for…well I’ll let you guys take a guess at that!
I have it on good authority that the Recall Sweeney campaign is about to really take off, so this seemed like a good time to get ahead of the curve and spread the word on this effort. If you need more evidence of what a classy guy Sweeney is, check out this tweet, where he states that he would never support concealed carry.
Big thanks to Brian Aitken – himself a victim of New Jersey’s draconian gun laws – for helping with the information in this article. For more on Brian’s story, check out my interview with him below.
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