Gun control advocates look for momentum after marches

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Advocates for gun control are hoping to capitalize on momentum from massive March For Our Lives demonstrations over the weekend. But with opposition from pro-gun groups and Republicans in Congress, supporters say it won't be easy.

The day after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators packed protests in Washington, D.C., New York and sister marches around the Garden State, many are wondering: what now? During a radio appearance Sunday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy praised the demonstrators but said the gun lobby is a formidable foe.

"You can't underestimate the NRA," he said. "They're the most successful lobbying organization in the history of our country, unfortunately."

MORE: Photos from March For Our Lives in Washington

On Monday in Trenton, six gun control bills vetoed by former Gov. Chris Christie are up for a vote again. They include seizing guns from mental health patients and decreasing the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines. Gov. Murphy has promised he will sign them.

But New Jersey already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. And the governor said 80 percent of the gun crimes committed in the state occur with firearms coming from neighboring states. Advocates say national action is needed.

New Jersey native Capt. Mark Kelly is married to former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was shot in 2011. In the aftermath, the couple became advocates for gun control. Kelly is optimistic things will be different this time because of the young people leading the fight.

"They realize this needs to be a bipartisan approach to change," he says. "So they get that and they're pretty much on message, they're smart, they're articulate, they also realize they have to motivate their peers to show up and vote."

With high schoolers leading the movement on gun reform nearing the voting age, supporters say there's reason for hope.

"This ain't over," says Gov. Murphy. "This is one major step in the right direction but there are a lot more steps to come and, in particular elections, have consequences."

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: George H.W. Bush through the years

    PHOTOS: George H.W. Bush through the years

    George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

    George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died Nov. 30 at the age of 94.

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Monday, December 10 2018 12:00 AM EST2018-12-10 05:00:41 GMT
    Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

  • Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Wednesday, December 5 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-12-05 12:37:03 GMT
    From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."