“We must act now” – CBS New York
METUCHEN, NJ (CBSNew York) – A day after a 15-year-old was charged with opening fire and killing four people at a Michigan high school, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urged state lawmakers to pass a package of gun safety bills.
“Firearms are now the number one killer of children and adolescents in the United States. This doesn’t happen in any other high-income country, ”said Jennifer Gonzalez of Moms Demand Action, a gun safety advocacy group.
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Gonzalez has spoken out in favor of six gun safety bills that would expand New Jersey’s already tough gun laws, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Thursday.
The first proposed law would require firearm safety training before purchasing a firearm.
“You can’t get a hell of a driver’s license without proving you can drive a car. Why do we ask less when it comes to a gun? Murphy said.
WATCH: Governor Murphy pushes gun safety package in Metuchen, NJ
The next requires the safe storage of firearms in a safe or gun safe.
Murphy also wants to fill the gap for importing guns out of the state and requiring an ID card within 30 days of his residency in New Jersey.
Another bill would establish an electronic record keeping system for ammunition sales to assist with law enforcement. Another would force manufacturers to use micro-stamping technology.
“It leaves a unique imprint on every cartridge fired, a real license plate that can trace a specific cartridge to a specific weapon,” Murphy said.
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The final bill calls for a ban on powerful and deadly 50 caliber firearms.
“Let’s stop the comedy that these guns have a place in our communities,” Murphy said.
The governor called the gun laws “common sense,” but Republican Senators Steve Oroho and Mike Testa called them restrictions for law-abiding residents.
“It’s not about public safety. This is his ultimate goal of removing firearms from the very residents who follow our laws, ”Testa said in a statement.
Some students from Metuchen High School who attended the event said that the laws already in place and the possibility of these new laws made them safer when they went to school every day.
“We have lockdown drills and we see tragedies happening across the country on our phones,” said Cecilia Zuniga, a high school student from Metuchen.
Lawmakers have said most of the guns used in New Jersey crimes come from out of state.
“There is also so much we can do here at home to save lives,” Gonzalez said. “New Jersey has one of the lowest gun violence and gun death rates in the country, and these are no independent coincidences. Gun safety laws save lives.
In a statement, the National Rifle Association told CBS2, “The package of bills presented today is an overhaul of failing regulations that ignore the criminals trampling the streets of Camden, Trenton, Newark and Paterson.”
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Meg Baker of CBS2 contributed to this report.