New Jersey has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country that have now gotten stricter. On Sept. 10, 2019 Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order that uses New Jersey’s treasury department to request that gun manufacturers operating within the state give statements on their principles and their efforts to deter illegal firearm sales.
The order mandates that all financial institutions will also have to tell the state government whether or not they do business with the gun industry and have codes of conduct with reference to gun safety.
Governor Phil Murphy said, “I have signed comprehensive, common sense gun safety and gun-violence intervention legislation, and now, under this executive order, my Administration is committed to making our communities safer by aiming to do business with gun dealers that have adopted best practices to reduce gun violence. We want those who do business with New Jersey to share our values and be committed to ending the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”
The governor’s executive order would also apply to the purchasing of firearms by state law enforcement agencies, including state troopers and prosecutors offices, regardless of whether or not the gun manufacturer operates in a state with more lax gun regulations. New Jersey’s state government has already spent upwards of $70 million on firearms and ammunition for these enforcement agencies.
In addition to firearm manufacturers, financial institutions including banks would be held to the same standard as the gun manufacturers they do business with. The state could cut ties with certain financial institutions on the basis that they are not adhering to the order.
However, Murphy’s gun-control strategy has drawn the ire of some of the state’s gun owners. Scott Bach, the executive director of The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, responded to the executive order by saying that it “ignores the fact that there is already a thicket of federal laws and regulations governing the conduct of firearms dealers across the nation.”
Bach went on to say that “trying to coerce gun manufacturers into limiting what they sell to the law-abiding public restricts Second Amendment rights but makes no one safer — what is needed instead is severe punishment of actual wrongdoers.”
The executive order is expected to see pushback in the courts by gun advocacy groups and may reveal a new strategy for state governments to stymie gun violence.