New Jersey Publishes Firearms Data, Gun Violence Reports
Since his term as New Jersey Governor began, Gov. Phil Murphy has made it clear he wants to emphasize gun violence in New Jersey. In an effort to make more information about firearms and gun violence available to New Jersey residents, Murphy signed an executive order requiring regular reporting about weapons crimes and other gun-related matters.
The new NJGUNStat reports are intended to provide gun crime statistics statewide, including information about the number of gun crimes, the types of weapons involved, and where these weapons came from. The most recent report on top source states for crime guns report showed gun data from the first quarter of 2018. According to the report, 77% of guns involved in crimes in New Jersey in the first three months of this year were actually purchased in another state. There were 542 traceable guns involved in crimes, which means authorities could identify where the guns originated. This information aligns with the data from 2016, which showed that 80 percent of the 485 gun-related deaths (including accidents, suicides, and homicides) in New Jersey involved out of state guns.
So where are these crime guns coming from? Many are trafficked into New Jersey through the “Iron Pipeline,” which is a route for smuggling weapons that runs from South to North. In southern states, since the gun laws are more lax, it is easier to obtain a firearm and then transport it to New Jersey where it is much harder to purchase a gun. Many of the weapons transported to New Jersey came from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The most guns were brought to New Jersey from Pennsylvania, which also has more lenient gun laws than the Garden State.
There are also reports on crime guns recovered each month across the state. For instance, in May of this year, there were 293 total crime guns recovered. These guns are further delineated by the way police recovered the gun, including if they were found or turned in, if they were seized with the person who possessed them, or if the person arrested had more than one crime-related firearm at the time of their arrest. The most guns recovered in May were from Essex County and within it, the city of Newark. Essex was followed by Mercer County, Camden County, Monmouth County, and Hudson County, which rounded out the top five for number of gun recoveries.
Now that data on guns and gun violence will be available in New Jersey, the question remains: what will the Governor and state lawmakers attempt to do with it? New Jersey already has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States and imposes harsh penalties on individuals convicted of weapons offenses. For instance, otherwise law-abiding citizens are charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on a regular basis for simply coming to New Jersey with a gun that they legally purchased in another state. Similarly, people are often arrested at Newark airport for weapons they have in their possession on arrival. New Jersey even criminalizes unlawful disposition of a firearm, resulting in serious consequences for so-called gun offenders.
Charged with a Gun Crime in New Jersey?
If you have been charged with a gun crime in New Jersey, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel from a knowledgeable weapons lawyer. The experienced New Jersey gun attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm fight aggressively on behalf of people charged with gun crimes throughout NJ. We know the intensity of the State’s approach when it comes to defendants in weapons cases, and we match that level with an equally aggressive defense. At our firm, we have assisted countless clients in your situation and we are thoroughly prepared to help you. Contact us at (201)-614-2474 to discuss your specific situation and find out more about your legal options. You can also reach us online to arrange a free phone consult or an appointment at one of our offices in Hackensack, Newark, Morristown, Collingswood, or Middletown, NJ.