Just a day before a gunman killed at least eight during a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Gov. Phil Murphy has proposed new gun laws in New Jersey.
Murphy presented his plan in Newark on Thursday. He described it as “perhaps the most sweeping gun violence prevention package in the history of our nation.” It was remarkable that as a sign of legislative support, influential state lawmakers like state Sen. Teresa Ruiz and Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald attended the event and spoke.
Newark-native Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver lamented how gun violence has disproportionately affected cities.“We are tired of funerals and memorials,” Oliver said. “Growing up in Newark, I tell young people I could go to any section of this city by myself or with my friends. Our young people cannot do that today.”
New Jersey is leading the nation in gun safety, but we won’t rest until we end senseless gun violence in every community.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 15, 2021
According to USA Today, the new gun laws come to solidify New Jersey’s status as one of the most restrictive in the nation for firearms. However, Murphy rejected the idea of not enacting more gun control laws because New Jersey already has strict firearm safety measures in place.
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“Just because we’ve got among the strongest gun safety laws in the nation does not mean they can’t be stronger and that’s why we’re here today,” he said.
On the report of New Jersey 101.5, the new gun laws would:
- Set aside $10 million in the current budget to fund gun violence intervention programs.
- Require gun permit applicants to first pass as safety course.
- Mandate that all guns not in use be kept in a lockbox or gun safe.
- Increase the purchasing age for a firearm to 21, from 18.
- Mandate microstamping technology so that fired rounds can be traced.
- Require ammunition sales to be tracked electronically.
- Ban .50-caliber weapons.
- Close what Murphy called a loophole that allows those moving to the state to not have to meet New Jersey’s requirements to get a gun.
- Make it easier to hold gun manufacturers liable for violence stemming from the use of firearms. Murphy said the proposal would amend public nuisance laws to bar the gun industry from endangering public safety through the sale, manufacture, import or marketing of guns
- Direct the state Education Department to overhaul active shooter drills to minimize the stress on students.
- Hold a gun safety summit among governors.
- Convene a gun safety commission within the state.
The proposals come after shootings again made headlines across the country, including in Colorado and Georgia, and after President Joe Biden ordered a series of gun control measures.