Gov. Chris Christie defends gun ammunition veto, decision not to meet with Sandy Hook parents


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KEANSBURG, New Jersey — Gov. Chris Christie on Monday defended his decision to veto legislation that would have imposed stricter limits on gun ammunition magazines in the state.

Speaking at an unrelated press conference, the Republican governor slammed the bill, which would have reduced the legal magazine capacity in the state from 15 rounds to 10.

"The fact of the matter is, the idea of going from 15 to 10 just makes no sense to me at all as a way to control violence," he said.

Christie said he had not been swayed by the gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association. He also rejected the idea that his potential national ambitions had influenced his decision, as some critics, including prominent New Jersey Democrats, have charged.

He also defended his decision not to meet with parents of children killed in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting, who traveled to Trenton last week to deliver more than 55,000 petitions encouraging Christie to sign the bill just before the veto was announced.

"It didn't make any difference to me what NRA was saying, 2nd Amendment Society versus the Sandy Hook folks. This is a decision that you really have to give some deep thought to," he said.

Christie said he had already signed the veto by the time the family members had arrived, and said he thought it would have been "hypocritical" for him to sit down with them at that point.

"I understand their argument. I've heard their argument. I don't agree with their argument," he said, making the case that "the logical conclusion of their argument" would be to ban guns completely.

But Mark Barden, whose son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting and was among those who made the trip, said he'd been trying to set up a meeting with the governor since May to talk parent-to-parent about the bill. He said Christie had it wrong.

"We're not calling for a ban. We're calling for reasonable solutions," said Barden. "We're trying to bring the numbers down."

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