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"I am disappointed that the opponents of this legislation have chosen political stunts over peoples' safety to delay passage of a bill that will strengthen penalties and provide a deterrent for serious gun crimes. Criminals are the only winners when procedural games are used to defer a bill that clearly has the necessary votes in both chambers of the General Assembly. When this legislation passes, it will be another important step in our comprehensive strategy to reduce violence, which includes strong and involved parenting, prevention programs for at-risk youth, policing strategies that focus resources in high-crime areas and appropriate punishments. Illegal guns drive violence and we must continue working to strengthen penalties for the dangerous criminals who are carrying illegal, loaded weapons in our communities while at the same time reducing sentences on non-violent crime.
I thank Representative Michael Zalewski and Senator Tony Munoz for their leadership on this bill, and look forward to congratulating them once it clears these legislative obstacles for a vote and eventually becomes law."