Gov. Murphy signs 7 new bills aimed at tightening NJ gun laws

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed seven new bills into law aimed at curtailing gun violence, including legislation to allow the state attorney general to pursue lawsuits against the firearm industry.

News 12 Staff

Jul 5, 2022, 9:48 AM

Updated 720 days ago

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed seven new bills into law aimed at curtailing gun violence, including legislation to allow the state attorney general to pursue lawsuits against the firearm industry.
The governor signed the bills Tuesday in the wake of a fatal Independence Day shooting in Illinois, as well as recent mass shootings in New York and Texas.
“At this point in our nation, it’s not unfair to ask, ‘Where’s the next target going to be?’” said state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.
Murphy pitched the measures in April 2021, but Democratic state senators did not give the final approval for them until last week.
One measure requires safety training to get a firearm purchasers permit, and another bans .50-caliber weapons. Others track ammunition sales, while another mandates that gun owners who move into New Jersey from other states re-register their firearms.
“These are things responsible gun owners should have no problem with,” says state Senate President Nick Scutari.
But some Republican lawmakers blasted the new laws.
State Sen. Edward Durr said in a statement, "These are empty solutions that will not stop violent criminals who will ignore every new gun law that's enacted. All these bills will do is put more legal gun owners at risk of being prosecuted for unintentional technical violations of the law."
But state lawmakers say they are going after illegal firearms as well.
“I've been asked, even just in the last few days, well isn't it all a problem with illegal guns? Trust me. We're going after them too,” says acting state Attorney General Matt Platkin.
State Democrats acknowledge the legitimacy of the Second Amendment. The governor said he believes guns should only be owned by “a responsible person, of the right age, who's taken the training, who's going to do the right thing."
Murphy signed the measures alongside advocates for tighter gun laws and other public officials. He says more still needs to be done after a Supreme Court ruling striking a requirement for permit holders to show a specific need to carry firearms.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor and gun reform advocate David Hogg was supposed to attend the bill signing but had to skip the event due to a family emergency.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.


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