Despite Surge In Gun Violence, Democratic Lawmakers In N.J. Ignore Murphy’s Call For More Gun Control

Despite Surge In Gun Violence, Democratic Lawmakers In N.J. Ignore Murphy’s Call For More Gun Control

Pamela Johnson of Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Movement, at a protest in June 2020 Courtesy of Pamela Johnson Gun violence is plaguing the Garden State. State police data shows that the first five months of 2021 saw a 45% increase in shooting victims compared to the same period in 2018. Last year, the capital city, Trenton, reported a record-setting 40 homicides. A mass shooting in a rural part of South Jersey last month left three people dead and 11 injured, but no arrests on murder charges . So what are New Jersey lawmakers doing about gun control? Just about nothing at all. In April, Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, made a public push for eight gun control measures . But the Democratic-controlled legislature didn’t do anything in response. Two bills in his package—a requirement for firearm safety training to get a gun permit and a mandate to store firearms in locked containers— passed the state Assembly two years ago but haven’t gotten out of a state Senate committee. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, whose power base is in more pro-gun South Jersey, declined comment through a spokesman after being asked about the reason the bills are held up. Five gun control bills haven’t moved out of committee in either legislative chamber: Increasing the eligibility age to 21 for some firearms purchases, requiring a “license plate” microstamp on cartridge casings, reporting ammunition sales to the state police, mandating the registration of firearms purchased out of state, and banning .50 caliber firearms. […]

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