NJ Governor fears mass shootings at large venues, approves new legislation

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Gun free zone - stock photo
Gun free zone - stock photo

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey is among the safest states in America and is the 5th most gun-unfriendly state in the country, but New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today once again admitted his plan to disarm the population isn’t working to keep New Jerseyans safe from large scale shootings.

New Jersey has among the strictest gun laws in the nation, but disarming legal gun owners and putting roadblocks in the way of legal gun ownership isn’t stopping criminals from getting guns.

Now, Murphy is concerned about the possibility of mass shootings in New Jersey and is requiring venues that can hold more than 500 people to maintain an emergency operations plan in case of a mass shooting.

New Jersey is not immune to mass shootings. Most of the incidents in recent years classified as mass shootings have occurred in urban areas, usually with illegally obtained firearms.

Today, the governor used the University of Virginia campus shooting as the basis for his latest initiative.

“As we wake up to the reality of another mass shooting in America, this time at the University of Virginia, it is clear that we must do everything in our power to protect our communities and our residents from the senseless gun violence that plagues our country,” said Governor Murphy. “The gun violence epidemic underscores the critical need for state, local, and community partners to work together to ensure the highest standards of public safety are being met. This legislation will enhance security requirements for New Jersey’s public venues and places of worship so that law enforcement agencies can be best prepared to handle threats and respond to emergencies.”

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The bill requires sports and entertainment facilities capable of seating more than 5,000 people, movie theaters capable of seating more than 1,000 people, and places of worship capable of seating more than 500 people to annually prepare and maintain an emergency operations plan in coordination with the appropriate local fire, law enforcement, and emergency response agencies. The emergency operations plan must be submitted to the chief law enforcement officer who serves the municipality in which the sports and entertainment facility, movie theater, or place of worship is located.

The Virginia shooting occurred on a college campus after a disgruntled student shot and killed three football players and wounded two others. None of Murphy’s legislative efforts would stop such a shooting on a college campus in New Jersey.

Not a single person in New Jersey is any safer or in any more danger today than they were before this bill was signed into law.