NJ tightens its gun control rules with 7 new laws, and more to come

NJ tightens its gun control rules with 7 new laws, and more to come

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tightened the state’s already strict rules governing the firearms industry Tuesday, signing seven new gun safety laws while promising to take more steps to limit where gun owners can carry their weapons.

“Now more than ever, we cannot let up on this fight to keep our communities safe,” Murphy said Tuesday, a day after at least seven people were killed by a mass shooter during a July 4th parade in a Chicago suburb. Murphy said the new measures “are common sense, they are smart, they live up to our Jersey values.”

The package of laws, most of which Murphy first pitched last April, will make it easier for the state attorney general to sue gun manufacturers when their weapons cause public harm, ban .50 caliber rifles, require training to obtain a gun license and better track ammunition sales.

“These are not going to be our last words on gun safety,” Murphy added, vowing to take action following the US Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn a New York state law and make it easier for gun owners to bring concealed handguns into public spaces.

Murphy said he would work with the state legislature to limit the public places where gun owners can carry their weapons and to ban bringing guns on private property without permission. There’s also a measure pending in the state Senate that would raise the age for someone to obtain an ID card to purchase shotguns and rifles from 18 to 21.

“We’re not going to just lay down and let our streets, our houses of worship, our supermarkets, shopping malls, sports arenas, our bars or anywhere else, to be overrun with hidden guns capable of unleashing a hail of bullets,” Murphy said.

New Jersey’s new laws also come after a gunman shot nine people in Newark last week outside a bodega. The victims ranged from 17 to 68 years old and were all listed in stable condition, police said.

“Families who experience gun violence, it doesn’t just end with the demise of that person, gun violence is intergenerational in terms of the impact that it has on families,” Lt. gov. Sheila Oliver said Tuesday, calling the gun reform package as long overdue. “A chain gets broken within a family when someone is the subject of gun violence.”

Most of the bills passed the legislature along party lines last week, with Republicans largely in opposition. On Tuesday, Sen. Ed Durr, R-Gloucester, called the package of laws “empty solutions” that would fail to stop gun violence. He instead called for more resources to address the growing mental health crisis.

“All these bills will do is put more legal gun owners at risk of being prosecuted for unintentional technical violations of the law,” Durr said in an emailed statement.

The bills signed into law will do the following:

Empower the Attorney General to sue for public nuisance violations related to the sale or marketing of firearms.Require firearm owners who move to New Jersey to register their guns and obtain a firearm purchaser ID cardUpgrade certain crimes related to manufacturing firearms from third degree to second degree .Ban certain .50 caliber rifles.Require electronic record keeping of ammunition sales.Require training to obtain a firearms purchaser ID card and gun permit.Require firearm retailers to sell microstamping-enabled firearms once the technology is available.

Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin said the new laws will give his office the tools to “finally hold accountable those who are profiting off of this bloodshed. I want to be clear to everyone, we’re going to use it and I can’t wait to use it.”

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