Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie conceded Wednesday that he has changed his mind on gun laws, a little more than a month after declaring that he didn’t remember saying gun control first got him into state politics.
In the 1990s, Christie advocated for New Jersey’s assault weapons ban. The governor said he’s changed his mind since then when pressed during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“Well listen, in 1995, Sean, I was 32 years old and I’ve changed my mind,” Christie said. “And the biggest reason that I changed my mind was my seven years as a federal prosecutor.”
“What I learned in those seven years was that we were spending much too much time talking about gun laws against law-abiding citizens and not nearly enough time talking about enforcing the gun laws strongly against criminals,” he added.
Christie told the Newark Star-Ledger back in 1993 that the gun control effort had “energized” him to enter state politics. But when he was asked about those convictions in November, the GOP presidential hopeful said he didn’t remember making that claim.
“It doesn’t sound like me,” Christie told Fox News’ Bret Baier at the time.
Christie also told Hannity in Wednesday’s interview that he would like to make it easier for New Jersey residents to obtain a concealed-carry permit by having to meet fewer criteria under “shall-issue” jurisdiction.
“And quite frankly, if I had the choice now I’d make New Jersey a state where you could have a shall-issue on conceal and carry,” he said. “Now, our legislature won’t do that, but what I have done recently is to make sure that we’re making it easier for folks to be able to get a permit in New Jersey because they deserve the right to do that as law-abiding citizens.”
Watch the exchange below: