Trenton, NJ – The governor of New Jersey signed an executive order that will identify the origin of guns used in crimes in his state, and said he hoped students would use it as another excuse for activism.
He also called for the legislature to pass more restrictive gun measures, requiring that people prove a “justifiable need” before they can get a gun permit.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s so-called “Name and Shame” order called for quarterly reports that cite the origin of every gun used in a crime in his state.
The governor said that about 80 percent of the guns involved in crimes in their state come from other states, National Public Radio reported.
The data the executive order cited was already publicly available from FBI, but Murphy said his order would streamline the process and make it more accessible.
“And as painful as that may be, we’re going to shine a light on the data, at long last,” Murphy told WKXW radio.
The quarterly reports could start as early as June and include information going back to the beginning of the year. The reports will specify where guns used in New Jersey crimes were coming from, on a state-by-state basis, WKXW reported.
The order does not track illegal immigrants involved in crimes and their origins.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s office said the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety will track gun crimes by municipality, firearm type, the nature of the offense, and number of people shot, the Asbury Park Press reported.
The majority of the guns illegally trafficked into New Jersey come from one of seven or eight specific states, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
“We have this data. This is part of what we do. But you should have this data, as well. You have a right to know this,” Grewal said.
According to the governor, there were 485 gun deaths in New Jersey in 2016, including homicides, suicides, and accidents.
“I’ll tell you right now, if it means naming and shaming other states, that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Murphy said.
The governor told WKXW that he hope the easier availability of the gun-violence data would inspire a fresh wave of activism by young people, the way students were energized after the tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
“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.”
Carole Stiller, who serves as president of the New Jersey Million Mom March chapters, told WKXW that five percent of the gun dealers had provided 90 percent of the guns used in crimes in New Jersey, and that gun dealers have to be targeted.
“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.”
New Jersey currently has the third strongest gun regulations in the United States, falling behind only California and Connecticut, NPR reported.
The governor has been strongly urging the Democrat-controlled legislature to pass six new gun control laws they’re considering so he can sign them into law, according to NPR.
Multiple states have endured a rash of newly proposed gun control legislation in the wake of the Florida school shooting. Florida and Vermont have already passed new gun control packages since the shootings in Parkland on Feb. 14.