Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy Recommits to Addressing the Epidemic of Gun Violence


The Governor joins Senator Weinberg and Assemblyman Greenwald in support of broad new gun safety measures

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today recommitted to taking steps to address the epidemic of gun violence. Senate Majority Leader Weinberg and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald joined the Governor in broad support of legislation that would reaffirm New Jersey’s commitment to gun safety.

“This weekend a gunman targeted a Jewish community in Pittsburgh, took 11 lives, and wounded brave police officers who put themselves in danger in the line of duty,” said Governor Phil Murphy.  “Closer to home, a 17-year-old high school student was shot to death in front of her friends in Jersey City as gun violence continues to have a punishing effect in our cities. We cannot allow for these actions to continue to be commonplace. By supporting legislation that takes steps in that direction, New Jersey and the nation can become meaningfully safer. I thank both Senate Majority Leader Weinberg and Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald for their unwavering commitment to addressing the gun violence epidemic.”

Governor Murphy called on the Legislature to address the following critical areas: 

  • Anti-Gun Trafficking: New Jersey currently does not have a specific law criminalizing all aspects of gun trafficking and straw purchasing.  Governor Murphy believes that New Jersey needs to make it illegal for anyone who is disqualified from owning a gun to purchase or sell a firearm and to expand our laws to make it easier to prosecute illegal gun trafficking. 
  • Investing in Smart Gun Technology: The gun industry has deliberately stopped progress on smart gun research. The prior administration vetoed efforts by Senate Majority Leader Weinberg that would have allowed this progress to continue. Once smart guns are commercially available, every New Jersey gun retailer will need to carry at least one smart gun—technology that saves lives. 
  • Regulating Ammunition: New Jersey’s State Commission of Investigation recently issued a report exposing loopholes in New Jersey’s regulation of ammunition.  Governor Murphy believes that New Jersey should require photo identification to purchase ammunition, require ammunition retailers to report sales to the State Police,  and criminalize the purchase of ammunition by individuals convicted of serious crimes.  
  • Promoting Violence Intervention Programs:  Governor Murphy believes that New Jersey needs to establish grants to help targeted cities provide coordinated, evidence-based violence intervention strategies for at-risk individuals. Giffords Law Center’s Investing in Intervention report identifies best practices used by states that have reduced gun homicide rates in urban areas.  

“The tragedy in Pittsburgh is a horrifying reminder that hatred and gun violence continues to inflict terrible harm on American communities," said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. "We stand with the people of Pittsburgh and all Americans in saying that we won’t give in to the forces of terror, of hatred and gun violence." 

“While New Jersey has always been at the forefront of sensible gun legislation, we know that can do more. Until the federal government does more, it is up to us in state legislatures to lead the way on this important life-saving issue," Senator Weinberg added.  

“I am grateful for Governor Murphy’s determined leadership on this issue and for rallying support for these important anti-gun violence initiatives. With the governor’s active support, we will pass  the amended childproof handgun bill to help spur development of this important technology that will help prevent senseless tragedies from being repeated.”

“It’s long past time for common sense to dictate our actions with regard to addressing gun violence in our society,” said Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald. “If we can’t talk sensibly about the issue after the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history, I challenge anyone to tell me when the appropriate time is to have that conversation. Common sense gun legislation will keep our communities safer. We must take immediate action to end the scourge of gun violence. If not now, when?”  

“Unlike Washington’s ostrich-like approach to gun violence, Governor Murphy and Majority Leaders Weinberg and Greenwald are taking immediate action in New Jersey and not relying on thoughts and prayers to address this crisis,” said Bill Castner, the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Firearms.

Governor Murphy has made significant efforts to fill the void that the federal government has left regarding gun safety. On June 13, Governor Murphy signed six gun safety bills into law. Those laws mandated background checks for private firearm sales, reduced magazine capacity to 10 rounds, changed handgun permit regulations, and created a system for law enforcement to confiscate firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or to others. The Governor has also worked with other states to create the States for Gun Safety Coalition, signed an executive order to publish regular reports on gun data, established a Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers University, and appointed Bill Castner as the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Firearms.