Senator Vin Gopal stands behind Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order pertaining to gun violence.
Signed today at Asbury Park Middle School, the order directs the Department of Law and Public Safety to consider all reasonable efforts to publicly release information on guns used in the commission of crimes in the state. The information is to be posted on the website of the State Police and the Department of Law and Public Safety.
This order is intended to raise the awareness of New Jersey residents about the impact of gun violence in their communities and the effects of firearms trafficking into New Jersey.
“Gun violence touches every community throughout New Jersey. It does not see borders. It rips apart families and devastates communities. Today, I join Gov. Murphy in saying enough is enough,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“Right here in Monmouth County, communities like Asbury Park, Long Branch and Neptune are frequent victims of gun violence. Five men were hospitalized after a drive-by shooting in Asbury Park on Easter Sunday. A 10-year-old boy was shot and killed in his home in February. On New Year’s Eve, a 16-year-old shot and killed his father, mother, sister and a family friend in Long Branch. Our residents deserve better. They deserve to feel safe in their homes. They deserve to walk down the street without the fear of getting shot. I will not stop working until our residents feel safe.
“Too many innocent lives have been lost to senseless gun violence. Together, we can bring an end to this violent epidemic.”
Information on guns used in the commission of a crime, or crime guns, is difficult to obtain and media reports frequently use contradictory figures. Additionally, approximately 80 percent of crime guns in New Jersey come from out of the state, mostly from states with looser gun laws. The data on which states these guns come from, while readily available to law enforcement, is only published once every year, and the report only lists the states that are the top sources of guns, meaning it is not comprehensive.
From 2011 to 2017, violent crime in Asbury Park dropped about 18 percent, from 260 acts of homicide, rape, robbery and assault to 213 last year, according to the Uniform Crime Reports. Homicides have also dropped, from six in 2013 to one each in 2014 and 2015. There were two homicides in the city in each of the past two years, as of 2017.
Senator Gopal has introduced several pieces of common sense gun regulations, including:
- A bill (S2239) which prohibits an individual who has been convicted of animal cruelty from possessing or purchasing a firearm.
- A bill (S2240) which requires the safe storage of a firearm and establishing penalties for improper firearm storage.
- A bill (S2238) which establishes a process by which a family member, law enforcement agency, or teacher may petition a court to have a person’s firearms temporarily seized upon finding that the person poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to themselves or others.
- A bill (S1976) which prohibits the investment of New Jersey public employee pension funds or annuities in any gun manufacturer companies.