TRENTON, N.J. – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio said Gov. Phil Murphy’s response, directing state departments and agencies to identify and designate gun free zones and regulate how firearms are transported, shows clear differences in his rhetoric on criminals and law-abiding citizens.
“Democrats don’t appear to trust honest law-abiding citizens, and are responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling as if the average gun owner is a criminal,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Even Gov. Murphy will tell you gun violence in New Jersey is because of illegal gun owners, not people who exercise second amendment rights. And those rights will still need to be exercised in New Jersey.”
Gun owners and prospective gun owners would still need to follow the permitting process to own and carry a firearm in New Jersey. The Garden State still has the second strongest gun laws in the nation, and a strict and comprehensive process for approving gun licenses and permits to carry.
DiMaio noted that Murphy’s most recent gun package was met with hesitance from members of his own party as vulnerable Democrats left yesterday before votes were taken during an Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing.
“I have to get somewhere,” Chairwoman Lisa Swain said before leaving the meeting. “So, I’m going to ask Vice-Chairman Mukherji to take my place.”
Swain (D-Bergen) and Assemblywoman Gabby Mosquera (D-Camden) left before the committee completed its more than four-hour hearing, missing votes on Gov. Phil Murphy’s gun package.
“It’s apparent they were afraid to make tough votes,” said DiMaio in a statement issued after the hearing.