Ammunition limits, a ban on .50 caliber weapons and stricter concealed carry rules were just some of the proposals that Gov. Phil Murphy endorsed Tuesday during a roundtable discussion in Cherry Hill led by Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, a longtime proponent of stricter gun laws.
New Jersey already has among the toughest gun laws in the country, but Murphy, a Democrat, said Tuesday the state should do more. And as with environmental, health and other initiatives, Murphy has said he wants to start by reexamining the gun bills that Republican former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed during his two terms in office.
Christie was long considered a centrist when it came to gun issues but moved to the right and pushed to loosen the state’s gun laws as he ramped up for an ill-fated run for president.
“I am incredibly confident we’re going to move the needle meaningfully working together on this,” Murphy told a panel that included several local officials and representatives of gun safety organizations.
Later in the day, the governor’s office issued a news release signaling support for the following bills, which would have to be approved by a Democratic-controlled Legislature before Murphy could sign them into law.
Murphy also said during the roundtable that he supports legislation that would encourage the sale of so-called “smart guns,” which use technology to restrict who can fire them, but his office did not reference any legislation related to that topic.
Gun control advocates in New Jersey pushed for a 10-round limit on the capacity of gun magazines — down from the current 15 — in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, arguing that the restriction would lead to fewer victims in the event of a mass shooting and offer a window to escape or take down a shooter as a gun is being reloaded.
But Christie conditionally vetoed such a restriction in 2014, saying it “defies common sense” to think that limiting the number of bullets in a weapon would reduce violence. Instead, he recommended changes to the state’s mental health laws to make it easier to involuntarily commit people with violent tendencies and make it more difficult for those who have been committed to mental health treatment to obtain a firearms permit.