NJ acting Gov. signs bills aimed at helping prevent gun violence victims from retaliating

Mike DeNardo
August 05, 2019 - 6:45 pm
Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signs a package of gun bills in Trenton on Monday, August 5th, 2019.

Edwin J. Torres/NJ Governor's Office via Flickr

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey's acting Gov. Sheila Oliver has signed a series of bills designed to reduce gun violence. The new laws provide counseling to prevent victims from retaliating.

The thinking behind the New Jersey Violence Intervention Program is that if you can provide counseling and social services to people who are recovering from gunshot wounds, they'll be less likely to want to perpetuate the violence by seeking revenge.  

At a bill signing ceremony in Trenton, acting state health commissioner Judy Persichilli says those hospital-based services save lives.

"Meeting patients when they are most vulnerable where they are at the bedside and taking advantage of that teachable moment is lifesaving," Persichilli said. 

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The grants are to be awarded by the state attorney general's office, which Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says will go to organizations serving areas plagued with gun homicides.

"They work with victims of gun violence day in and day out to end the vicious cycles of retaliation and repeat victimization," Grewal said. 

In signing the measures, Oliver said the bills take on special significance days after mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton.

"Thoughts and prayers aren't strong enough. It is well past the time for action in this nation," she said. 

Grewal says he hopes national leaders would take a page from New Jersey's gun violence playbook.