How N.J. is becoming ground zero in America’s gun control debate under Phil Murphy

This file photo shows weapons turned in at a gun buyback event in Monmouth County. (Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) New Jersey already had among the toughest gun laws in the United States when Gov. Phil Murphy took office, but the new Democratic governor didn’t waste any time to crack down even further amid a contentious national debate over gun control. Murphy is expected on Wednesday to sign a package of bills further tightening the regulation of firearms in the Garden State. The actions are once again putting New Jersey on the front lines when it comes to gun control, a debate that has taken on a even higher profile following school shootings in Florida and Texas. Here’s a look at New Jersey’s regulations on the books, as well as the ones on the horizon. In 1990, Garden State lawmakers passed what was then described as the country’s toughest ban on assault weapons — a law that became the model for the federal ban that expired in 2004. Ever since, New Jersey has ranked among the strictest states in the U.S. with regard to gun laws, held up as a national model by gun control advocates and derided by Second Amendment supporters. Tight restrictions on transporting firearms on New Jersey’s roads — including its major highways, which serve as major arteries between states — have long been a target of gun rights advocates. As have the state’s restrictive rules for obtaining a handgun carry permit. During […]

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