Legislation will protect New Jersey from the dangers of undetectable and untraceable ghost guns.
November 8, 2018—Giffords, the gun safety group started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, applauded Governor Phil Murphy for signing 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, and a first-in-the-nation public-private partnership between the administration and the Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce (FACT). To date, lawyers in the FACT coalition have worked with Governor Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to reduce the threats to public safety that ghost guns pose in New Jersey.
“New Jersey has reaffirmed its status as a national leader in enacting important and innovative laws to protect its communities,” said David Pucino of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Loopholes in existing laws allow dangerous individuals who can’t pass a background check to build untraceable firearms by going online to order do-it-yourself kits or downloading files to print guns on 3D printers. Senator Cryan’s legislation will close those loopholes and make New Jersey safer by ensuring that all firearms can be detected by security systems and traced by law enforcement. We applaud Governor Murphy for signing this bill and, once again, leading the way for the nation.”
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.