TRENTON, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes joined dignitaries from around the state today in support of two important state initiatives, one that limits gun purchases in New Jersey and a second that will upgrade a portion of Route 1 in Mercer County.
Hughes joined Governor Jon S. Corzine, Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman, Mercer County Sheriff Kevin Larkin, and representatives from Jersey City today on the steps of City Hall in Trenton for the official signing of a bill that limits individuals in New Jersey to one gun purchase per month. The new law is aimed at reducing the number of “straw” purchases, whereby individuals can legally purchase an unlimited number of firearms for use by themselves or others.
“While we are winning some important battles against violent crime, we must remain aggressive in combating illegal possession, use, and trafficking of firearms in New Jersey,” Corzine said in a statement. “The bill that I am signing into law is aimed at cutting off the supply of weapons to career criminals and protecting the rights of our law-abiding citizens.”
Hughes reinforced the bill’s importance, saying gun crimes tear communities apart. “This law will help stem the tide of guns that flood our system and sadly, often end up on our streets and in the hands of people who wantonly use them for criminal purposes,” he said.
New Jersey now joins California, Maryland, and Virginia as the only states that currently limit the number of handguns that may be purchased at one time within a certain calendar period.
The County Executive also visited Lawrence Township today as it was announced that $2.9 million in federal stimulus package funds have been designated by the N.J. Department of Transportation to repave 2 miles of Route 1 in both directions. The stretch is located in Lawrence and West Windsor townships.
“Route 1 is a highway critical to New Jersey’s quality of life and economic vitality,” said N.J. DOT Commissioner Stephen Dilts, as the funding was announced at the Lawrence municipal building. “This project will create approximately 40 jobs and improve safety conditions for the estimated 85,000 cars a day that travel this portion of Route 1.”
Congressman Rush Holt, County Freeholder Dan Benson, Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, Lawrence Mayor Pam Mount, West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, Lawrence Councilman Mike Powers, and West Windsor Councilwoman Linda Geevers also attended the announcement.
“This is a great part of our share of stimulus funding,” Hughes said. “The governor’s office and Congressman Holt’s office have been doing a great job in securing funding for Mercer County. As we all know, Route 1 is an extremely significant roadway.”
Both Mayor Mount and Mayor Hsueh said the upgrade will help attract businesses to their townships. Holt stated the funding will provide “lasting value for the public.”