Paterson, NJ

Gov. Murphy Recommits to New Gun Safety Laws

Morristown Minute

Package Includes Proposals to Require Firearms Safety Training, Mandate Safe Storage of Firearms, Raise the Minimum Age to Purchase Long Guns to 21, and Establish Electronic Ammunition Sales Recordkeeping.

Governor Murphy visited Saint Luke Baptist Church in Paterson on April 19 to urge legislators to take action and pass a comprehensive gun safety legislative package that was proposed by the Governor in April 2021.

If passed by the Senate and Assembly and signed into law, the legislative package would be the third wide-ranging gun safety package passed by the Governor since taking office.

“The bills that I introduced one year ago are basic measures that will keep guns out of the wrong hands, help law enforcement apprehend the perpetrators of gun violence, and hold the gun industry accountable for its deceptive and dangerous practices,” said Governor Murphy. “I hope to work with my Legislative partners to continue making New Jersey a national leader in gun safety and prevent the meaningless violence and loss of life that results from the gun violence epidemic.”

During his time in office, Governor Murphy and legislators have established a “red flag” law for gun violence protective orders; criminalized firearms trafficking; strengthened background checks; reduced the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines; banned “ghost guns;” established the Rutgers Gun Violence Research Center to identify evidence-based solutions to the gun violence crisis; and established a partnership with a coalition of states (New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut) to share crime gun data between law enforcement agencies.

“Tragically, America experienced three mass shootings over the Easter weekend. And we are all still reeling from the horrific attack in the Brooklyn subway. The new gun safety legislation championed by Governor Murphy will fight gun violence at the source and make our communities safer,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “I joined our Governor in Paterson today because cities in North Jersey want comprehensive gun safety reform. Our neighbors are tired of living in fear. They are tired of thoughts and prayers. They want action. Let’s get these guns off our streets.”
We battle every day with the flow of out-of-state guns and the second-hand market. By allowing the AG to take action and hold gun manufacturers accountable it is my hope that we can encourage them to do something about the illegal market once and for all,” said Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz. “While we advance these efforts, we know that prevention is our best tool. By making investments in human capital from the womb to the workforce, from early childhood education to young adult mental health services, we can take a holistic approach and better support our communities as a whole.”
“With the surge in gun violence there are steps we should take to keep our communities safe and protect residents from senseless gun crimes,” said Senator Cryan, a former law-enforcement official who headed the Union County Sherriff’s Office. “There are also actions we can take that will help prevent the tragedies of accidental shootings and gun suicides. The secured storage of firearms is one of the most effective ways of preventing gun deaths, requiring those who move to New Jersey to abide by our gun laws is a matter of common sense, and increasing the age to 21 to purchase shotguns and rifles will make life be safer for young people.”
“Recent events have shown us how important it is to continue to adopt comprehensive, common-sense gun safety laws that will keep our communities safe,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “In cities like Paterson, far too many people have felt the impact of gun violence. We must do everything possible to protect our residents and ensure no one has to say goodbye to a loved one because of senseless violence.”
“This bill package includes vital, common-sense reforms that would provide comprehensive solutions to the gun violence that devastates New Jersey communities,” said Amy Faucher, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our state continues to lead nationally in the gun violence prevention movement and furthering that status means passing these important bills. We thank Governor Murphy for his support in the fight to end gun violence in New Jersey, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to help advance this package and save lives.”

The gun safety reforms Governor Murphy recommitted to include:

Ensuring Firearms are Handled Safely

  • Requiring Firearm Safety Training: A-993 (Reynolds-Jackson) would require completion of a firearm safety course to receive a permit to purchase a gun or receive a firearm ID card.
  • Mandating Safe Storage of Firearms: Gun owners would be required to store guns in a lockbox or gun safe. (For reference: A-2215 (Greenwald), the “New Jersey Safe Storage of Firearms Act”)

Making New Jersey Safer

  • Banning .50 Caliber Firearms: S-1416 (Gill) would revise the definition of "destructive device" under New Jersey law so that it includes weapons of .50 caliber or greater.
  • Closing Loophole for Importing Out-of-State Firearms: A-1179/S-1204 (Jasey/Cryan) would require firearm owners who move to New Jersey to obtain a firearm purchaser identification card (FPIC) and register their firearms within 60 days of residing in this State.
  • Raising Minimum Age to Purchase Long Guns to 21: A-509/S-504 (Freiman/Cryan) would raise from 18 to 21 the age at which a person is eligible to receive a firearms purchaser identification card used to purchase shotguns and rifles.

Giving Law Enforcement the Tools to Address Gun Violence

  • Establishing Electronic Ammunition Sales Recordkeeping: A-1302 (Greenwald) would require manufacturers or dealers of handgun ammunition to keep a detailed electronic record of ammunition sales and report ammunition sales to the State Police.
  • Promoting Microstamping Technology: S-1462/A-2216 (Codey/Greenwald) would require within a year that firearm manufacturers incorporate microstamping technology into new handguns sold in New Jersey, providing law enforcement with a tool to quickly link firearm cartridge casings found at the scene of a crime to a specific firearm, without having to recover the firearm itself.

Additional Action

Holding the Gun Industry Accountable:

In New Jersey, almost 80% of guns used in crimes are originally purchased outside of the state. However, the gun industry has failed to take any steps to stem the flow of guns to the illegal market through gun shows, flea markets, straw purchasers, and theft.

The Governor proposes amending the state’s public nuisance laws to prohibit the gun industry from endangering the safety or health of the public through its sale, manufacturing, importing, or marketing of guns. (For reference: A-1765/S-1893 (McKeon/Ruiz).

Regulating School Shooting Drills:

New Jersey schools currently are required to conduct active shooter exercises, but guidelines are vague on how drills should be conducted.

Governor Murphy proposes authorizing the Department of Education to establish trauma-informed and age-appropriate standards for lockdown drills including encouraging preparation over simulation; barring the use of simulated gunshots; advanced notice to parents about planned drills; durational limits; training; and prohibiting rewarding children for fighting off potential gunmen during a drill.

Reconvening Historic “States for Gun Safety” Summit:

New Jersey was poised to host a multi-state summit in Newark last year on gun-safety issues — a first-of-its-kind event organized by a coalition of states that formed three years ago in response to persistent inaction on gun control at the federal level.

The multi-state effort has involved a sharing of data among the member states, including the exchange of information about illegal trafficking and about those disqualified from owning firearms. Governor Murphy intends to reconvene the Summit in the Summer of 2021.

Announcing Nominations to the Personalized Handgun Authorization Commission:

Governor Murphy announced that he will soon file nominations to the so-called “Smart Gun Commission.”

The commission aims to bring together industry experts, business representatives, and advocates for discussion of gun violence in New Jersey.

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