(The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy has announced a series of measures aimed at curbing gun violence in the Garden State, but critics say the proposals run afoul of the second amendment and won’t stem the violence.
The governor’s proposed $44.8 billion fiscal 2022 budget includes $10 million for “community-driven strategies,” including “group violence intervention” and “relationship-based street outreach.” It also includes $2 million for the Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers University.
Murphy’s proposals announced last week include a ban on .50 caliber firearms, raising the minimum age to buy “long guns” to 21 years of age and establishing record keeping for electronic ammunition sales.
“Half of New Jersey’s gun homicides occur in only five cities, and the number of gun crimes in these cities has skyrocketed over the last year,” Murphy said in a news release. “We cannot sit back when we know there is more to do to address the danger of gun violence in our communities. By taking the steps we are announcing today, we will further commit to making every block and every street in our state safer.”
Meanwhile, Murphy says A-3686/S-372 would require firearm owners who move to New Jersey to register their firearms within 30 days and secure a firearm purchaser identification card (FPIC). Another measure, S-2169/A-5030, would modernize firearm ID cards and require completion of a firearm safety course to receive a permit to purchase a gun or receive a firearm ID card.
“These tools are essential to ensuring that New Jersey continues to do all that it can do to combat the continuing plague of gun violence,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a news release. “As New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, my message to gun traffickers, distributors, and even manufacturers has been clear from day one: we will hold you accountable when you violate our laws.”
The governor also wants legislation similar to a bill recently introduced in the New York Senate that would amend the state’s public nuisance laws. Doing so, according to Murphy, would hold gun manufacturers liable.
“It is unimaginable that our state laws may one day prohibit a young man or woman who fought for our freedom in the military from owning a hunting rifle or shotgun,” state Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cape May/Cumberland/Atlantic, said in a statement. “None of the changes announced by Murphy will impact violent criminals.
“This is just more of the same misguided attacks on guns and gun-owners that we are seeing in Democrat-controlled states across the nation,” Testa added. “The Second Amendment and private gun rights are threatened now more than ever with a President who has publicly stated his disdain for the sacred constitutional protections afforded by our Bill of Rights. Make no mistake, they are infringing on the rights of law abiding gun owners.”