On the heels of the landmark Supreme Court decision, majority Democrats in Trenton doubled down by passing yet another package of gun bills.
This is the third gun-control package put forward by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The NRA-ILA testified against these bills in both the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.
Legislators were challenged to point to a single case in New Jersey where a .50 Cal was used in the commission of a crime. It was also pointed out that not a single state has been able to implement microstamping firearms because the technology is not feasible.
The following bills cleared both chambers this week and Murphy signed it minutes ago.
A.1302 Ammunition registration.
A.1765 Manufacturer liability.
A.4370 Mandatory training for FID card issuance.
S.1204 Registration of guns by new residents.
S.2846 10 years in jail for previously legal gun kits. (“Ghost Guns”)
S.2905 Bans .50 Caliber BMG.
In addition to last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which forced the New Jersey Attorney General to direct issuing authorities to stop enforcing “justifiable need,” the court this week also vacated lower court decisions on magazine and semi-auto bans and remanded those cases back to the lower courts for reconsideration.
Last week, NY added a review of three years of all social media accounts for firearm applications, in violation of the First Amendment. In other news, UPS announced that it will now confiscate and destroy any ghost guns and kits shipped via the carrier.
UPDATE: Statement from the Governor’s office:
Governor Phil Murphy today signed a sweeping series of gun safety reforms to continue the fight against gun violence in New Jersey. Since taking office in 2018, Governor Murphy has been a champion of bold, commonsense gun reform, and signed significant gun safety packages in June 2018 and July 2019. Today, the Governor reaffirmed his commitment to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in New Jersey and signed seven comprehensive gun safety bills, six of which were part of his Gun Safety 3.0 package that he introduced to the Legislature in April 2021 and has repeatedly championed over the last year. These gun safety reforms further solidify New Jersey as a national leader in gun safety and deliver on the promise to make communities safer.
“In the wake of horrific mass shootings in Highland Park, Illinois, Uvalde Texas, and Buffalo, New York, it is necessary that we take action in order to protect our communities. I am proud to sign these bills today and thank my legislative partners for sending them to my desk,” said Governor Murphy. “As I have said before, this is a huge step forward for commonsense gun safety and for safer communities. But it cannot be our only or last step. I look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and take action to make this state safer for all.”
“In New Jersey we understand what it takes to actually stop the vicious cycle of mass shootings and everyday gun violence in New Jersey. We do it by passing common sense gun safety laws that work,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “We cannot continue repeating the sentiment that there is nothing that can be done to end this scourge of gun violence. There is and we owe it to the next generation to sign common sense gun safety laws that cut the problem off at the source.”
The seven gun safety reform bills include:
A1765/S1893 (McKeon, Atkins, Jasey/Ruiz, Pou) – Allows Attorney General to bring cause of action for certain public nuisance violations arising from sale or marketing of firearms.
A1179/S1204 (Jasey, Swain, Jaffer/Cryan, Zwicker) – Requires firearm owners who become New Jersey residents to obtain firearm purchaser identification card and register handguns acquired out-of-State.
A4367/S2846 (McKeon, Greenwald/Scutari, Cryan) – Upgrades certain crimes related to manufacturing firearms from third degree to second degree.
A4366/S2905 (Atkins, Quijano/Scutari) – Revises definition of destructive device to include certain .50 caliber rifles.
A1302/S2903 (Greenwald, Reynolds-Jackson, Atkins/Cryan) – Regulates sale of handgun ammunition and develops system of electronic reporting of handgun ammunition sales.*
A4370/S2906 (Reynolds-Jackson, Greenwald/Codey) – Requires training for issuance of firearms purchaser identification card and permit to purchase handgun under certain circumstances; provides that firearms purchaser identification card include photograph and thumb print and remain valid for ten years.*
A4368/S2907 (Greenwald, McKeon/Codey) – Requires firearm retailers to sell microstamping-enabled firearms upon determination of availability by AG.
“The legislation signed into law today provides New Jersey with robust tools to combat gun violence and hold accountable irresponsible gun dealers and manufacturers who profit from this bloodshed,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “I thank Governor Murphy for his continued efforts to protect New Jersey residents from mass shootings and gun violence, even as the U.S. Supreme Court is doing its best to undermine those efforts. These new commonsense gun laws send a clear message that New Jersey will continue to serve as a model for states seeking to address the epidemic of gun violence.”
“As criminals attempt to find new ways to circumvent the laws, we must adjust our tactics to keep illegal guns away from those individuals who have no regard for human life once the trigger is pulled.,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our efforts to limit gun violence must be comprehensive as we strive to protect the citizens of New Jersey. We will continue to work with the Governor’s Office and the Office of Attorney General to keep our state safe.”
“The threat of gun violence is a real and growing menace in our communities. These bills might not stop every gun crime, but they represent a thoughtful, common sense approach that will target areas of gun control in both the legal and illegal gun markets,” said Senate President Nicholas Scutari. “They provide an opportunity to prevent gun violence and provide a safe overall environment for the public.”
“New Jersey continues to lead the nation on fair and robust common-sense gun safety thanks to the Governor and Legislature’s partnership that has made public safety a priority,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “With the signing of these decisive, common-sense measures designed to stop gun violence in its tracks, we are advancing our commitment to ensure people in every New Jersey community can feel more safe.”
“Far too many families have been torn apart by gun violence. We cannot stand by and accept the fact that firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. While we desperately need federal legislation, I am thankful that the Governor is signing these key measures into law today,” said Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz. “We must do everything we can to stop this, and by allowing the Attorney General to take action and seek damages for shootings here in New Jersey, we can start holding individuals accountable for their actions.”
“The surge in gun violence has been horribly tragic, with lives lost, victims wounded and loved ones suffering heartbreak,” said Senator Joe Cryan, former Union County Sheriff. “As public servants, we must continue to do all we can to keep deadly firearms out of the hands of those who pose a danger, off the streets, away from schools and out of our communities.”
“By having Governor Murphy sign these sensible gun safety bills into law, we are taking responsible actions to help keep our communities safe,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “Making sure that owners of firearms follow the laws and procedures for gun safety is important. We have some of the strongest gun laws in the country – we want every resident to follow them.”
“This senseless gun violence has gone on long enough, and I am glad to see Governor Murphy moving quickly by signing these bills to make our streets, schools and neighborhoods safer. We cannot continue down the path we are now on,” said Senator Nellie Pou. “If gun manufacturers or retailers act in ways that constitute a ‘public nuisance’ in the eyes of the Attorney General they should be held liable for appropriate penalties.”
“As we have all seen recently, gun violence is a real and scary risk in our country and we have to act now to stop it,” said Senator Richard Codey. “We must ensure that gun owners are aware of how to safely handle and store a firearm to better protect our residents from unnecessary harm. Additionally, by incorporating microstamping technology, law enforcement would have a critical aid that would assist them in tracking down weapons used in crimes. We have to do all that we can on God’s green Earth to stop these shootings from occurring. Everyone needs to be held accountable, and if you misuse a firearm, you shouldn’t be able to get away with it.”
“Just as residents are required to register their vehicles with New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission when they first move here, gun owners will now be held to the same standards,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. “This commonsense law will ensure that every legally-obtained gun is registered in our state to promote greater safety in our communities. We are proud of the work we have accomplished in New Jersey to strengthen gun safety laws.”
“Firearm registration not only promotes responsible gun ownership, but helps protect first responders by alerting them to the possible presence of a firearm before they arrive at the scene of an emergency,” said Assemblywoman Lisa Swain. “These benefits cannot be fully realized unless every legal gun owner participates in our registration system, which is why this new law is so critical to ensuring the safety of residents throughout our state.”
“Closing the loophole that allows new residents to own a gun without going through the process of registration will help keep our communities safe,” said Assemblywoman Sadaf Jaffer. “This new law encourages responsible gun ownership by requiring new residents to register their guns.”
“In New Jersey, almost 80 percent of guns used in crimes are originally purchased outside of the state. The gun industry has made little effort to help stem the flow of guns to the illegal market through gun shows, flea markets, straw purchasers, and theft,” said Assemblyman John McKeon. ”The industry, essentially, has not taken responsibility for its part in the increasing gun violence and its influence through product marketing. Gun violence is a public health threat. New Jersey must have the ability to seek appropriate remedies against members of the gun industry who knowingly or recklessly endanger the public health and safety. No one should get a pass when lives are on the line.”
“Too many families in New Jersey have seen the impact of gun violence in their communities. While our law enforcement officers work tirelessly to hold perpetrators of violent crimes accountable for their actions, those responsible for manufacturing and selling firearms often go unpunished for their role in creating significant threats to public health and safety,” said Assemblyman Reginald Atkins. “Members of the gun industry who have knowingly and recklessly put the public in danger deserve to see consequences for their actions.”
“In New Jersey, we continue to implement common-sense measures to reach our goal of ending gun violence once and for all,” said Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald. “Today, with these new laws, we take another calculated step toward stemming gun trafficking by ensuring accountability and proper record-keeping at the point of sale for ammunition, encouraging responsible gun ownership, and increasing penalties for the manufacturing of illegal firearms.”
“We are looking at a steep rise in violent crimes in communities across the state. We see this right here in the City of Trenton,” said Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. “We must all work together in creating safer communities for the families and children who live there. These new laws will help us reach that goal.”
“New technology and the make-it-at-home kits are making it way too easy for guns to get into the wrong hands,” said Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. “The new law sends the appropriate message: New Jersey will not stand for it. If a person manufactures or possesses a ghost gun, or 3-D printed weapon or even buys the parts to make them, there will be additional penalties if convicted.”
“Gun violence is a public health crisis that has taken its toll on many cities across the United States, including in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer. “With these new laws, we take one more step toward ending senseless violence in our communities.”
“Almost daily in New Jersey, communities witness family members, neighbors, and friends lose their lives to senseless gun violence,” said Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. “We must provide law enforcement and prosecutors with the tools necessary to deter violent gun crimes on our streets. Today signifies the next step in this process and moves toward safer communities for New Jersey families.”
“The Gun Safety Package 3.0 is ground breaking change. It includes legislation that fills loopholes not only in NJ, but federally, by enabling the attorney general to hold gun manufacturers accountable for misconduct that causes harm in New Jersey. This is a huge step towards safer communities across the state and much needed accountability that has been denied for years due to PLCAA,” said Raisa Rubin-Stankiewicz, NJ State Policy Associate with March For Our Lives. “At the same time, we know this is not the end of our work. We will continue working with the governor to make sure that more life-saving measures are passed, including establishing a standard for safe gun storage.”
“In the face of political gridlock at the federal level, New Jersey proves that states will lead the way in fighting gun violence,” said David Hogg, co-founder of March For Our Lives. “This comprehensive package of bills shows us that bold action on gun safety is possible and further solidifies New Jersey as a proving ground for commonsense legislation. More needs to be done, but states across the country should look to New Jersey as a model of gun safety. March For Our Lives is happy to have been a part of this work over the last year and we’re deeply grateful to the legislature and to Governor Phil Murphy for their consistent and admirable leadership.”
“New Jersey’s leaders understand our fight to end gun violence is not over,” said Nico Bocour, Government Affairs Director of Giffords. “The legislation signed today is the most comprehensive package championed in the country this year and will make the Garden State’s gun laws even stronger. Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, Speaker Craig Coughlin, and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald have taken meaningful steps to further protect families and communities from the ongoing gun violence crisis. We thank New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for demonstrating what it means to have the courage to act to prevent gun violence.”
“New Jersey is once again leading where most of our nation has failed: taking aggressive steps to protect our families against gun violence,” said Bill Castner, Senior Advisor to the Governor on Firearms for the state of New Jersey. “I am proud of Governor Murphy for signing these critical bills into law, especially for doing so in the backyard of key gun safety proponent Assembly Speaker Coughlin. We desperately need Washington to follow suit.”
“This moment in our gun violence crisis calls for decisive action from our leaders to put the safety of our communities first,” said Jenifer Berrier Gonzalez, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These are wide-ranging, effective, and innovative reforms to help ensure that all New Jerseyans are kept safe. While there is still more work to be done, we appreciate Governor Murphy for continuing to fight for meaningful action to end gun violence and for signing this bill package into law — reaffirming New Jersey’s status as a leader in the gun violence prevention movement.”
“With the passing of these 7 gun safety bills, NJ shows its on-going commitment to the safety of its residents. Brady NJ, along with the other gun safety advocacy groups, is proud to have been part of this effort to work with the Governor and the legislators to move these bills though to their signing today,” said Karen Kanter of Brady NJ. “In response to the SCOTUS decision, we support the Governor’s serious efforts to diminish its impact. Along with those efforts we hope that the safe storage bill and the age increase for long guns bill will also receive the same support from the legislature.”