ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Commissioner President Wayne L. Richardson announced the upcoming formation of a new Anti-Gun Violence Committee dedicated to addressing gun violence in Essex County. Commissioner Brendan W. Gill will chair this new committee, which plans to meet with local anti-gun violence advocacy groups, legislators and others in an effort to bring forth initiatives that will make a tangible difference with respect to the safety of residents and communities throughout the county.
The committee is expected to be established by a resolution to be voted on at the next Essex County commissioners board meeting, scheduled for Sept. 14. Items such as increasing community outreach, conveying the importance of commonsense gun legislation, and the introduction of legislation at the county level will be under the committee’s purview.
“Establishing a commissioner board Anti-Gun Violence Committee is an important initiative that I expect will make a significant impact,” Richardson said. “If we can leverage our resources at the county level to save one life, it will be well worth the effort. It is my hope we can save multiple lives, while providing a blueprint for other county agencies to follow. We must work together to save our communities, and do our best to limit the unnecessary loss of life.”
Gill is a longtime advocate for commonsense gun safety measures. Over the years, he has worked with community-based advocacy groups and brought forth legislation at the county level to combat the gun violence epidemic. In 2015, the board adopted a resolution sponsored by Gill that requires ammunition and firearm companies that receive contracts from Essex County to provide specific information on what their companies are doing to combat illegal gun trafficking and to keep firearms out of the hands of unlicensed users.
“I want to thank President Richardson for his vote of confidence in me and providing the opportunity to lead this crucial endeavor,” Gill said. “Gun violence is nothing new to Essex County. While mass shootings have continued to increase across the nation, we have continued to deal with an increase in gun violence at the local level for many years.
“Although there has been recent legislation at the federal and state level aimed at curtailing gun violence, we must continue to aggressively battle this public health crisis, and work diligently to enact commonsense gun safety measures at the local level in an effort to keep our communities safe and save as many lives as possible,” Gill concluded.