WASHINGTON, D.C. – New Jersey has strong gun laws that help combat the illegal gun market, prevent the sale of most guns without background checks and reduce risks to children, but can still do more, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
In the organization’s 2009 state scorecards released today for all 50 states, New Jersey has the second strongest gun laws in the country earning 73 points out of a total of 100.
“New Jersey has taken important steps to combat the problem of illegal guns which fall into the hands of criminals and endanger our communities,” said Bryan Miller, executive director of Ceasefire NJ, “but we still want to do more.”
“We applaud New Jersey for its strong laws to ensure there’s a criminal background check on all handgun sales,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “This is a way to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”
The state’s complete scorecard results can be accessed at www.bradycampaign.org. The categories covered by the New Jersey 2009 scorecard are as follows:
• States can earn up to 35 points by taking steps needed to “Curb Firearms Trafficking.” States can fully regulate the gun dealers within its borders, limit bulk purchases of handguns, provide police certain technology to identify crime guns, and require lost or stolen guns to be reported to the police. New Jersey scored 25 points in this category.
• States can earn up to 27 points by “Strengthening Brady Background Checks.” This involves requiring universal background checks and requiring a comprehensive permit in order to purchase firearms. Short of universal background checks, states can also close the gun show loophole, at least requiring background checks for all gun show sales. New Jersey scored 18 points in this category.
• States can earn up to 20 points by “Protecting Child Safety” when it comes to guns. States can require that only childproof handguns be sold within their borders, require child safety locks sold with each weapon, hold adults accountable for keeping guns away from kids and teens, and require gun purchasers to be at least 21 years of age. New Jersey scored 14 points in this category.
• States can earn up to 10 points by “Banning Military-style Assault Weapons,” as well as banning high-capacity ammunition magazines. New Jersey scored eight points in this category.
• States can earn up to eight points by restricting most “Guns In Public Places” to trained law enforcement and security and by “Preserving Local Control” over municipal gun laws. This includes keeping guns out of workplaces and college campuses, not forcing law enforcement to issue concealed handgun permits on demand, not permitting “shoot first” expansions to self-defense laws, and not preventing cities from passing their own gun laws. New Jersey scored all 8 points in this category.
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