New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (File photo)

Governor Phil Murphy Strengthens Gun Laws in New Jersey

In the aftermath of the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings, Governor Phil Murphy passed two rounds of legislation to strengthen the gun laws in New Jersey. One is the Red Flag law, which includes supporting background checks and limiting the ammunition in magazines from 15 down to 10.

The eight-bill package also includes a ban on .50 caliber rifles, safety training, and storage requirements. In addition, electronic record keeping tracks ammo purchases and raises the minimum age to purchase long guns from age 18 to 21. New Jersey residents register firearms and amending the state’s public nuisance law to make the gun industry liable for shootings.

Historically, New Jersey has been widely considered a leader in gun safety. According to the Giffords Law Center, New Jersey has the second strongest gun laws in America, with California being the first. Giffords Law Center also shows New Jersey is third in death rate in America per 100,000 people. New Jersey was also the first state to regulate “ghost guns” in America.

In a recent press briefing, Reverend Robert Moore offered some statistics on the current state of gun violence and safety. “Last year, we reached 45,000 deaths at the hand of a gun in America. That’s the highest it’s ever been in our history, and it’s very alarming,” he says. 

Changes in gun safety are expanding beyond the state level. The first significant gun safety legislation passed by Congress in the past 30 years was signed by President Biden. The bill makes it easier for states to pass their red flag laws, prevents domestic abusers from owning weapons, and expands background checks on people between 18 to 21 looking to buy a gun.

Gun safety laws have become more of a priority with lawmakers after the recent shootings at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 kids and two teachers died at the hands of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who used an AR-15-style weapon. The other mass shooting happened at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, New York, committed by 18-year-old Payton Gendron, who used a modified Bushmaster XM-Rifle, resulting in ten dead and three injured. 

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