The New Jersey chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the New Jersey legislature and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for taking a crucial step to address the new dangers created by the Supreme Court’s flawed decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen by introducing legislation that will strengthen the state’s firearm licensing laws and establish a robust list of sensitive locations where guns may not be carried, including playgrounds, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, train stations, and polling places. Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin spearheaded efforts to introduce this legislation.
“The New Jersey legislature has taken a crucial first step in repairing the damage caused by the wrong and dangerous decision the Supreme Court made in Bruen,” said Lauren Knighton, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We know what is at stake, and we cannot take our foot off the gas. I am proud to stand alongside New Jersey’s lawmakers, Governor Murphy, and fellow gun safety advocates to ensure that this bill becomes law so that all of our communities across New Jersey are protected from senseless acts of gun violence.”
The Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen struck down an important provision of New York State’s concealed carry permitting law that required an individual to prove they had “proper cause” to carry concealed firearms in public. The Bruen decision has dangerously lowered the bar for who can carry guns in public. Carrying firearms in public is a tremendous responsibility, and states must follow the lead of New York and New Jersey to set strong minimum standards for who may carry concealed guns in public and create clear rules on where guns are prohibited.
Due to Governor Murphy and New Jersey lawmakers’ enactment of proactive gun safety measures, New Jersey is among the safest states in the country, with the fifth lowest rate of gun violence. In July, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the 3.0 gun safety bill package, a sweeping set of gun safety measures to hold bad actors in the firearm industry accountable, close loopholes for importing out-of-state firearms, and strengthen the state’s firearm permitting laws, among other reforms. Federal, state and local leaders have a vital role to play in combating gun violence. If enacted, this bill will help ensure that New Jersey’s firearm licensing laws remain among the strongest in the country.
In an average year, 439 people are killed by guns in New Jersey and another 874 are wounded. Gun violence costs New Jersey $5.3 billion each year, of which $168.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New Jersey is available here.