Murphy vows to ‘do everything in our power to protect’ New Jersey residents after Supreme Court gun ruling

“Let there be no mistake – this dangerous decision will make America a less safe country,” Murphy said in a statement, echoing New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s similarly scathing remarks. “But let me also make it clear that here in New Jersey, we will do everything in our power to protect our residents.”

New Jersey has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

Hochul, also a Democrat, called the decision “terrible in scope,” its language “shocking,” and said the court returns “the nation and our ability to protect our citizens to our Founding Fathers.”

Thursday’s decision does not mean handguns will suddenly become legal for anyone to carry concealed, as Acting New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin sought to emphasize in a statement following the court ruling. People still need to get permits and permit requirements remain in place. For example, current New Jersey law prohibits criminals and drug addicts from owning guns. Handgun holders must also be over 21 years of age.

“Carrying a handgun without a permit is still illegal in this state, and all other requirements for obtaining a permit to carry remain in effect,” Platkin said.

But the ruling overturns the century-old New Jersey standard that restricted the use of handguns.

“It’s not tomorrow you’ll be on NJ Transit with a .40. This is not the case because the permit process is still ongoing,” William Kastner, Murphy’s firearms adviser, said in an interview. “But the reality is that in a state like New Jersey, it will be a culture shock with many more people carrying guns in public and that will lead to more deaths from gun violence.”

A case ruled by the Supreme Court known as New York State Riflemen and Pistols Association v. Bruenlikely to provoke a scramble in blue states like New Jersey, New York and California to close what Democrats see as a hole in their gun control regimes and gun rights advocates to make sure those restrictions remain narrow.

“Bruen’s decision ended years of New Jersey interference with the fundamental right of people to self-defense with firearms outside the home,” said Scott Bach, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs. “It also spells the end for many other New Jersey laws that also violated other aspects of the Second Amendment.”

Murphy said his administration was awaiting Thursday’s decision and offered “options that we think are still available to us as to who can carry concealed weapons and where they can carry them.”

The changes will depend on a thorough review of the court’s ruling, which continues to allow restrictions to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people, such as criminals, and to carry weapons into “sensitive places” such as schools and government buildings. In New Jersey, firearms are already generally banned on school and college campuses.

State Senator Joe Cryan (D-Union) told reporters at the State House that he doesn’t think most people in New Jersey want “people to wear guns on their hips in supermarkets.”

“I don’t see the benefit of this decision for this state,” he said. “And I, of course, in no way agree with that.

State Senator Ed Darr (R-Gloucester), who was one of the most vocal Second Amendment supporters in the Legislature, welcomed the court’s decision.

“Absolutely love it,” said Durr, who said he was inspired to run in part because of his support for gun rights. “I think it was long overdue. I think what we have now is positive evidence that the Second Amendment has always been there for citizens…and New Jersey will have to keep up with the rest of the country. “

Gun control advocates are also considering new requirements for people with permits, such as the requirement to have insurance.

But it remains an open question as to whether Murphy can get such restrictions across the finish line. Murphy’s long drawn-out third arms package is only now making its way through the state Senate after the governor first supported the bill in April 2021. But the recent massacre of children in a Texan school and black residents in a New York supermarket has forced some politicians, including a bipartisan group in Congress, to make gun control even more urgent.

Carly Citrine contributed to this report.

%d bloggers like this: