New Jersey Governor Signs 6 Gun Control Laws, Tightening Already Strict Regs


Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey became the latest state executive to sign new gun-control bills into law amid increased pressure by activist groups nationwide.

According to Newsmax, the Democratic governor introduced six additional laws designed to further limit gun ownership in a state that already had some of the nation’s most restrictive legislation.

As with many such proposals this year, the legislation that went into effect this week was introduced in the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14.

Murphy signed the bills into law on Wednesday, issuing a statement citing the perceived benefits of the cumulative approach to firearms.

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“We are going to be a leader in the fight for common-sense gun safety,” he said during a ceremony at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton. “New Jersey will lead.”

Not satisfied with the statewide changes, the governor urged supporters in New Jersey to make their opinions known at the ballot box.

“Our work is far from done,” he said. “Let’s continue to work on this together. Vote in November for candidates who continue to support common-sense gun reform.”

Murphy was joined on stage during the event by a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who survived the February shooting. Alfonso Calderon marked the passage of the new laws as a victory in the effort to impact laws nationwide.

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“The majority of America’s youth knows we need this change to survive in our own schools,” he said.

New legislation enacted Wednesday includes a law that will require mental health professionals to alert police of threats of serious physical harm made by their patients.

One law requires background checks for private firearms transactions while another will institute a prerequisite of “justifiable need” for state residents to obtain a permit to carry a gun.

Other legislation impacts the capabilities of guns themselves. One prohibits ammunition capable of penetrating body armor. Another will reduce the capacity of magazines to 10 from the current limit of 15, though the law does not apply to .22-caliber rifles.

Finally, one bill Murphy signed into law establishes a provision for an extreme risk protective order to be imposed against someone believed to pose a serious threat to themselves or others. Such a court order would temporarily prevent a person from legally owning or obtaining either a gun or ammunition.

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Though Wednesday’s event featured a number of prominent supporters from New Jersey and beyond, plenty of opponents voiced their concern about further limiting the right of residents to own firearms.

Scott Bach, the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, issued a statement in response to the new laws.

“None of the bills signed today will make anyone safer,” he said, adding that “criminals and madmen” would not abide by the new restrictions.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
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