New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed six new gun control bills into law during a ceremony held in Trenton. The ceremony on Wednesday was attended by numerous gun control activists and a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

During the ceremony, Gov. Murphy triumphantly claimed that the measures send “a strong and clear message to our president, to our Republican leadership in Congress and to the corporate gun lobby: We are going to be a leader in the fight for common-sense gun safety laws.” 

The decision comes in the wake of a string of mass shootings that have gained nationwide attention and increased pressure on lawmakers to further restrict gun control laws. While the measures were largely met with bipartisan support, one in particular was tensely debated. The controversial bill, NJ A2761(18R), reduces the permitted size of ammunition magazines from 15 to 10 rounds. Now, guns that only accept magazines holding more than 10 rounds must first be registered with a law enforcement agency.

Shortly after the measure was passed, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) petitioned to sue the state of New Jersey, with the help of the NRA, to overturn this restrictive measure. In a statement by the ANJRPC executive director, he claims, “This unconstitutional law will be ignored by criminals and madmen and affects only law-abiding citizens. It turns one million people into criminals with the stroke of a pen, limits self-defense and takes away property lawfully acquired.”


Gov. Murphy’s strong pro-gun control stance is certainly a shift for the state following Gov. Chris Christie’s more lax approach. The former governor often resisted attempts at enacting new gun control laws and even attempted to loosen them when preparing for his 2016 presidential campaign, claiming he had “changed his mind.”

On top of these gun measures, Murphy also pushed for increasing fees for the possession and sale of guns, as outlined in his proposed budget. In response to lawmakers’ resistance, Murphy used the ceremony as an opportunity to call out lawmakers, asking, “What does that say about our priorities?”

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