Legislation will protect New Jersey from the dangers of undetectable and untraceable ghost guns.
October 29, 2018— Giffords, the gun safety group started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, applauded the New Jersey Legislature for passing legislation to ban untraceable firearms, including downloadable guns, in the Garden State. Earlier this year, Representative Giffords and Captain Kelly joined Governor Phil Murphy to announce a new effort within the Murphy administration to reduce New Jersey gun violence.
“New Jersey continues to build on its record as a leader in fighting gun violence by enacting important legislation to protect its citizens from ghost guns,” said David Pucino of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “By exploiting loopholes in existing laws, individuals who can’t pass a background check can acquire an untraceable firearm by assembling it in their home using unfinished parts or by downloading a file to produce it on a 3D printer. This legislation will close those loopholes and ensure that all firearms can be detected by security systems and traced by law enforcement. We thank Senator Cryan for championing this important law and encourage all states to follow New Jersey’s lead.”
This comprehensive report released recently by Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, notes that local businesses are severely impacted when gun violence occurs, as shootings keep customers and tourists away and often limit hours of operation. On average, there are 2,014 shootings in New Jersey each year, resulting in directly measurable costs of over $1.2 billion annually. That includes:
- Healthcare costs: $93 million
- Law enforcement and criminal justice expenses: $131 million
- Costs to employers: $8 million
- Lost income: $918 million
Much of this tab is picked up by the public. Up to 85% of gunshot victims, for example, are either uninsured or on some form of publicly funded insurance. Additionally, law enforcement efforts are funded entirely by taxpayer dollars. As a result, the direct annual cost of gun violence to New Jersey taxpayers is approximately $273 million.
Even more striking, when indirect costs that impact families and communities are factored in, the overall estimate of the economic cost of gun violence rises to $3.3 billion per year.