TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) –– Lawmakers in Trenton failed again to override a veto by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over legislation dealing with guns and mental illness.

The Assembly vote was suspended on Thursday, after falling short of the support needed to rebuke the Republican governor, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Assembly fell three votes shy of the 54 votes needed to follow the Senate’s lead and end the veto, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

Assembly speaker Vincent Prieto said he was disappointed that the assembly couldn’t get enough votes to bring the override to the floor.

“It’s a sad day for the State of New Jersey when you have Republicans putting politics before policy,” Prieto said. 

The bill required potential gun buyers seeking to clear a mental health record to first notify law enforcement officials of their petition.

Democrats believe Christie vetoed the bill because he wanted to appease conservative Republican primary voters in New Hampshire. Republicans said the bill would not have kept guns away from the mentally ill, who could expunge their records long before buying a gun.

Prieto said he plans on re-introducing the bill that was passed with widespread support in June.

“This was a common-sense bill, it’s a single issue that needs to be addressed in the State of New Jersey, Prieto said.

“Everybody thought it was the best thing to do at that point in time — what has changed? Let’s get it done, and do the right thing,” he added.

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