Phil Murphy pounces on the opportunity to push more gun control in light of Michigan school shooting

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TRENTON, NJ – Senate Republicans Steve Oroho and Mike Testa chided Governor Phil Murphy for his assault on gun rights during a morning press event in Metuchen.

“Governor Murphy continues to disregard the constitutional rights of legal gun owners,” said Oroho (R-24). “The Governor’s rush to push through his anti-gun agenda in the lame duck session is a political ploy to curry favor with his progressive base. It’s a direct attack on responsible, registered firearms owners, sportsmen, and their constitutional rights.”

“Over the past four years, New Jersey has become a national leader on gun safety. We must continue to build on that progress and make our state safer for the over nine million people who call New Jersey home,” Murphy said. “Today, I am proud to further commit to this goal, and I hope to work with my Legislative partners to take this step by the end of this legislative session. I thank Speaker Coughlin, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, and other legislative partners for their continued commitment to gun safety.”

At the press conference, the Governor was joined by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and other supportive Democrats for what was called a “gun safety announcement.” Coughlin confirmed that he planned to support the gun package and would post the bills for a vote in the Assembly before the end of the legislative session on Jan. 10.

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“Clearly, the timing is intended to further tighten gun restrictions on law-abiding residents as quickly as possible, giving opponents little to no time to be heard,” said Testa (R-1). “There are dozens of bills awaiting action in both houses of the Legislature that would do more to fight crime and make New Jersey communities safer for everyone. This isn’t about public safety. It’s about his ultimate goal of taking guns away from the very residents who follow our laws.”

New Jersey’s gun laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. During his campaign for Governor four years ago, Murphy sought support from national anti-gun organizations, and he has signed numerous bills tightening firearm standards, including a half-dozen new laws in 2018.

“Responsible gun owners are not, and never have been the problem in this or any other state,” Oroho said. “You only have to look at Chicago, with the nation’s toughest gun laws and the highest rate of gun-related crime and killings to prove that more and tougher laws are not the answer. The Governor is just playing political games that will not make a dent in crime on New Jersey streets.”

“Murphy is the softest governor on crime that we have ever had. He capitalized on the pandemic to release thousands of felons to break more laws and, in some cases, commit murder,” said Testa. “I don’t buy for a minute that the Governor wants to increase safety. He wants to take our guns and increase his bonafides at the national level.”

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