Wednesday, July 6, 2022

New Jersey enacts seven bills to tighten gun regulations

Gov. Phil Murphy signed seven bills into law that further tighten New Jersey’s already stringent gun regulations and vowed to seek even more measures while the state navigates a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision loosening restrictions on carrying a concealed firearm, reported

“These are not going to be our last words on gun safety,” the Democratic governor said before signing the laws during a ceremony at borough hall in Metuchen, which was filled with gun-control advocates, including many in red Moms Demand Action T-shirts.

Under the new laws, the Garden State will mandate people receive firearm training to get a gun permit, ban .50 caliber weapons, make it easier to sue gun manufacturers and dealers over gun crimes in the state, stipulate new residents coming from other states register firearms, require micro-stamping technology, regulate handgun ammunition, and crack down on “ghost guns.”

“They are common-sense. They are smart. They live up to our Jersey values,” Murphy said of the measures.

Opponents — including many Republican lawmakers — argue the measures will simply punish law-abiding gun owners and be ignored by criminals, especially because firearms flowing in from out of state are used in most gun crimes here.

This is the third package of gun reforms Murphy and the Democratic-controlled state Legislature have enacted since the governor took office in 2018 in New Jersey, home to some of the nation’s strongest firearm laws.

Tuesday’s event coincidentally came less than 24 hours after a gunman killed at least seven people and injured at least 30 others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois and after two police officers were shot during Independence Day festivities in Philadelphia. Murphy called the former an “awful, awful, unspeakable tragedy.”

The governor noted there have been more than 870 mass shootings since he proposed most of these bills 15 months ago. He also noted there have been 1,271 shootings in New Jersey in that time, leading to 291 deaths.

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