New Jersey isn’t the most restrictive state in the union where firearms freedom is concerned, but according to Giffords.org, they’re number three. With a bullet. Garden State gun grabbers have a raft of new bills moving toward Governor Phil Murphy’s desk which would further crack down on the state’s residents exercising their natural, civil and constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
But Governor Murphy is going the extra mile. He too has a phone and a pen and has issued a new executive order. Call it Murphy’s ‘Law.’
Starting in May, the New Jersey State Police and attorney general will post monthly reports online summarizing the prior month’s gun crimes. And every three months, they’ll publish information showing where guns trafficked into New Jersey came from.
Gov. Phil Murphy says the information is already collected and used internally by law enforcement but that residents will be able to see the direct impact on gun violence.
“And as painful as that may be, we’re going to shine a light on the data, at long last,” Murphy said at a Friday event at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
New Jersey claims that 80% of the firearms used in crimes there come from other states. How does the Gov see the newly published data affecting other states that are fingered as sources of these guns?
“My gut tells me that if they’re on this list as a high source state, that that’s going to be a tough conversation between the chief executives,” Murphy said.
Maybe Murphy intends to prowl National Governors Association meetings, cameras in tow, buttonholing the governors of the offending states. That ought-a learn ’em.
Carole Stiller, president of the New Jersey Million Mom March chapters, said 90 percent of the guns used in crimes come from 5 percent of gun dealers. She said the Brady Campaign has tried for years to pressure them to change their practices and that the forthcoming data would help those efforts.
“When you have a gun dealer that all of a sudden his records for the ATF are showing that 200 and some guns are missing, those guns didn’t just walk out the door. They know what’s going on,” Stiller said. “So we’ve got to go after the gun dealers. So I think it’s going to be a big effect.”
Only one problem with Stiller’s “bad apple” gun dealer analysis. A federal firearms licensees that loses track of 20 guns — let alone 200 — doen’t stay in business long. They have their ticket pulled. Guns don’t just “fall off of trucks” or walk out the back door.
To the extent that other states’ guns end up in New Jersey, we’d lay odds that 98% of them were either stolen or the result of straw purchases (those crimes that the ATF has been simply too busy to do much about under the previous administration). Now, however, that may change.
Murphy, making his announcement in front of a captive middle school audience, tried to gin up his own mini Parkland kiddie movement.
Murphy said he’d be pleased if the availability of the gun-violence data spurred another round of activism by young people, as has happened around the country since the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
“If it was done safely and the superintendent of the local school district or the principal weren’t upset, I sure wouldn’t mind seeing some of the young activism showing up at the state capitol and standing on their front step and saying, ‘Enough already,’” Murphy said. “That wouldn’t bother me, again if it was done safely and moms and dads were OK with that.”
Can’t you just see it? Sixth, seventh and eighth graders clamoring for…even more data! Your tax dollars at work, New Jersey.