New Jersey Gun Laws: We Can Do Better

New Jersey can and should do more to strengthen its gun laws. We can not dictate to surrounding states where the laws are more lax, and we can only urge our congressmen to advocate for better national regulations. However, in our own state where we already have some good laws, we should add several new ones.

According to the Brady Foundation Scorecard of State Rankings for Gun Control Laws (0 to 100)  we can be proud that we are ranked second (72). California leads the way (81). Our neighboring states fare not so well: New York (62), Connecticut (58), Pennsylvania (26) and Delaware (13). Of course even the strongest California laws pale in comparison with stricter regulations in Europe where the per cent of the population owning guns is far lower.

Following the Newtown school massacre Governor Christie refused to address gun control issues and instead reduced the matter to a gross oversimplification, saying, “Bad people do bad things.” In the wake of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., Gov. Chris Christie said, “New Jersey’s gun laws are sufficient.” They are not and we can do better.

Below are categories of gun laws in which our state does not meet Brady standards and for which new legislation should be considered:

  •  We do not require background checks on all fireams (only handguns).
  •  We have not closed the gun show loophole nor required background checks on long guns at gun shows.

  •  We do not require safety training/testing for gun purchasers.

  •  We do not require a license to possess all firearms.  

  •  We do not require ammunition purchaser records be kept nor vendors licensed.
  •  We do not ban purchase of large capacity magazines of more  than 10 rounds (only more than 15 rounds.)

    It’s time to stand up against the National Rifle Association lobby. We can do more. We must do more.

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