NEWS: NJ Gun Laws Tightened Even Further

GetZone
July 19, 2019

The already strict firearm laws of New Jersey got even tougher this week as Gov. Phil Murphy signed four new gun control bills into law — including one designed to make personalized “smart guns” more easily available in the state.

It comes a little more than a year after Murphy signed six firearm laws, vowing to make New Jersey a national leader in “common-sense” gun safety. The Democratic governor has championed the latest laws as his “Gun Safety Package 2.0.”

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“Even though there’s more to do, we must take great pride in what we are doing today,” Murphy said at a signing ceremony at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights. “These new laws will send the message we take gun safety and the safety of our communities seriously.

The laws expand the list of crimes that bar someone from owning a gun in New Jersey, attempt to curtail gun trafficking from other states, and aim to prevent suicides.

The most notable measure (S101) focuses on “smart guns,” which can be fired only by their designated owners. They are designed to be safer than typical handguns, using fingerprint and other identification technology to prevent accidental shootings. For instance, they could keep children from firing their parents’ guns.

But officials say a 2002 New Jersey law has helped keep smart guns off the market. The law mandated that dealers in the Garden State could sell only smart guns once they became marketable anywhere in the country.

That, Murphy said, created a loophole that slowed the production of smart guns because it allowed the gun lobby to put an “enormous amount of pressure” manufacturers not to conduct research and development on the weapons.