NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Friday directing all state departments and agencies to review all statutes, rules, and regulations to identify actions that may be taken to determine whether, and in what manner, firearms may be carried, displayed, or otherwise regulated.
This includes the authority to designate certain locations where carrying of firearms is prohibited, as well as authority to regulate the manner of carrying, transporting, possessing, or conveying firearms.
Governor Murphy also announced his intention to work with partners in the Legislature to expand the number of places where firearms cannot be carried, including locations with a high density of people, locations with inherently vulnerable populations, and buildings where important governmental or First Amendment-protected activities take place.
The signing and call for action follow yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, in which a right-wing majority ruled that individuals have a general right to carry firearms in public.
More than 250 mass shootings have already occurred in 2022 across the U.S. Although New Jersey has the lowest firearm mortality rates in the country, gun violence has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 New Jerseyans in the past decade.
“Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision, in addition to making a mockery of the recent tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo, severely undermines the efforts of individual states to protect their residents from gun violence,” Murphy said. “But the failures of the nation’s highest court to combat this devastating public health crisis will not deter us from realizing our vision for a safer New Jersey. Now more than ever, the onus is on us to pass commonsense gun safety reform that will benefit every child, parent, and first responder who calls New Jersey their home.”
“The Supreme Court’s reckless decision makes it harder to combat the proliferation of deadly weapons in our communities and in our public spaces, and makes all New Jerseyans less safe,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “The majority’s ruling could not come at a worse time, as we experience a nationwide epidemic of gun violence. But rest assured: we will continue standing up for our commonsense firearms laws and work with our law enforcement partners to protect our residents from harm. That is why I will issue a Directive to law enforcement statewide reiterating that even with this decision, individuals in New Jersey cannot carry firearms without a permit, and that all other aspects of the permitting process must continue to be enforced.”
“Although New Jersey has consistently experienced one of the lowest firearm mortality rates in the nation, even one senseless death due to gun violence is too many,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Our priority remains keeping the citizens of this state safe, and we will continue to work with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Attorney General, and our law enforcement partners to take preventative measures to ensure that firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.”
Earlier this week, the New Jersey General Assembly and New Jersey State Senate advanced several critical gun safety measures in Governor Murphy’s Gun Safety 3.0 package, including training requirements and limitations on certain weapons. Additional legislation inspired by today’s executive order would build upon this progress toward a safer New Jersey. The Governor applauded this progress and reiterated his desire to sign these bills into law as soon as possible.