Phil Murphy Wants Your Guns, But Not So Tough on Illegal Guns in the Hands of Criminals

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TRENTON, NJ – In light of the Supreme Court ruling that removed New Jersey’s unconstitutional requirement to show justification for a concealed carry gun permit, New Jersey Governor Murphy is quickly moving to ban guns in most places in New Jersey before the first concealed carry permit is issued.

The governor this week announced he will push to ban firearms essentially anywhere he can in New Jersey for legal gun owners, carrying a valid conceal carry permit. On the other side, Murphy isn’t as tough on the large amount of illegal guns carried by criminals, gang members and drug dealers across the state, who thus far have been unphased by all of the state’s strict gun laws.

This week, Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio said Gov. Phil Murphy’s response, directing state departments and agencies to identify and designate gun-free zones and regulate how firearms are transported, shows clear differences in his rhetoric on criminals and law-abiding citizens.

Related: Above His Paygrade, But Phil Murphy Promises to Thwart Constitutional Conceal Carry Decision

“Democrats don’t appear to trust honest law-abiding citizens, and are responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling as if the average gun owner is a criminal,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Even Gov. Murphy will tell you gun violence in New Jersey is because of illegal gun owners, not people who exercise second amendment rights. And those rights will still need to be exercised in New Jersey.”

According to the state, gun owners and prospective gun owners would still need to follow the permitting process to own and carry a firearm in New Jersey.

Murphy’s gun package is so controversial that some in his own party walked out of hearings before votes were cast.

“The Garden State still has the second strongest gun laws in the nation, and a strict and comprehensive process for approving gun licenses and permits to carry,” DiMaio said. “Murphy’s most recent gun package was met with hesitance from members of his own party as vulnerable Democrats left yesterday before votes were taken during an Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing.”

“I have to get somewhere,” Chairwoman Lisa Swain said before leaving the meeting. “So, I’m going to ask Vice-Chairman Mukherji to take my place.”

Swain (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Gabby Mosquera (D-Camden) left before the committee completed its more than four-hour hearing, missing votes on Gov. Phil Murphy’s gun package.

“It’s apparent they were afraid to make tough votes,” said DiMaio in a statement issued after the hearing.