Passing of Sen. Lautenberg at 89


Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who twice held a Senate seat in New Jersey and had announced that he was retiring at the end of this Congress, has died.  He had been ill for months and rarely seen in Congress this year except to support legislation on gun control following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  Sen. Lautenberg was the sponsor of legislation to close the so-called “terror gap” in ATF’s authority to issue explosive licenses and permits.  His legislation would have given ATF authority to deny explosive licenses and permits to those found to have terrorist ties.  IME supported this legislation. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, will have the authority to fill the vacancy left by the Democrat.