Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauds the introduction of Representatives Carmelo Garcia and Gabriela Mosquera’s A 4348, that will close a dangerous loophole in current New Jersey law that makes it too easy for felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people to buy rifles and shotguns. Under current law, potentially dangerous people can use a decades-old permit to buy a rifle or shotgun—even if they have recently committed a crime.
A 4348 will fix a gap in current law by requiring point-of-sale background checks before every shotgun and rifle transfer, with reasonable exceptions, such as transfers among family members, or for hunting, target practice, or self-defense.
“As New Jersey moms who are dedicated to keeping our children safe from gun violence, we applaud Representatives Carmelo Garcia and Gabriela Mosquera for introducing this common-sense, life-saving background check bill in the New Jersey Legislature,” said Brett Sabo, volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The bill fixes a loophole in current New Jersey law that lets felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people get their hands on rifles and shotguns. It’s not going to involve huge hurdles for responsible gun owners either—over 99 percent of New Jersey residents live within 10 miles of a licensed gun dealer, where they can get a simple background check and buy a rifle or shotgun from a private seller. We hope the New Jersey Legislature will move quickly to pass this straightforward, common-sense measure that will keep New Jersey women, families, and communities safe from gun violence.”
Moms, survivors, and other advocates met with New Jersey lawmakers this week to discuss the importance of the bill and to highlight the significant role rifles and shotguns play in intimate partner homicide in New Jersey and across the country. Joining the office visits were Harry and Karen Pryde, New Jersey residents whose daughter Julia was murdered in the Virginia Tech shooting along with 31 of her classmates and professors. The shooter had been adjudicated mentally ill and was prohibited from buying firearms.
“Karen and I understand all too well the importance of having a complete background check system in place,” said Harry Pryde. “New Jersey should join the ranks of other gun sense leading states like New York and Connecticut to protect New Jersey women and families—we urge our lawmakers to fix this lethal loophole in current New Jersey law.”
Additional information on the role rifles and shotguns play in intimate partner homicide in New Jersey:
- Nearly one in six domestic violence gun murders in the US is committed with a rifle or shotgun.
- In New Jersey, more than three in ten people killed with rifles or shotguns are women. Among all New Jersey victims of gun homicide, only one in ten is a woman.
- Intimate partner homicides make up more than half of all rifle and shotgun murders of New Jersey women.