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Giffords Law Center Applauds New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal for Decisive Efforts to Crack Down on Illegal Sales of Ghost Guns

 Giffords Law Center and partners in FACT litigation coalition  will work closely with New Jersey to combat gun violence  by holding unscrupulous gun sellers accountable. 

June 12, 2018—Today, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly, applauded New Jersey’s new effort to combat illegal online sales of ghost guns in the Garden State. Last month, Representative Giffords and Captain Kelly  joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy  to announce a new effort within the Murphy administration to reduce gun violence in the state and the appointment of  Bill Castner  as Senior Advisor on Firearms.

The announcement also identified a new, unprecedented public-private effort on gun-safety litigation, combining the investigative and enforcement powers of the state with the expertise of the nation’s leading gun litigation coalition. Giffords Law Center and its partners in the  Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce  (FACT) work with attorneys at a dozen of the nation’s premier law firms, bringing unparalleled legal resources to the legal fight against gun violence. Leveraging these resources and Attorney General Grewal’s leadership will ensure effective enforcement of existing gun laws and enable legal action against the rogue elements of the gun industry that and threaten public safety in the Garden State.

“As New Jersey strengthens its efforts to keep guns from dangerous people and crack down on gun traffickers, a dark side of the gun industry is taking hold on the Internet,” said Adam Skaggs, Chief Counsel of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He continued, “We applaud Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal for ensuring that New Jersey’s strong gun laws are enforced effectively and holding the scofflaw merchants in this dangerous online marketplace accountable. Giffords Law Center and our partners in the FACT coalition will support New Jersey’s continuing leadership on gun violence as the Garden State provides the nation a model for responsible leadership on gun safety.”

“Once again Governor Murphy and our Attorney General are delivering on their commitment to take aggressive actions to protect New Jerseyans against dangerous and illegal firearms,” said Bill Castner, Senior Advisor on Firearms. “The ghost gun industry needs to be — and will be — closed for business in the Garden State.”

The Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce (FACT) is a coalition led by Giffords Law Center, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brennan Center for Justice, which works with lawyers from the nation’s preeminent law firms to reduce gun violence.

Related Resources:

REPORT –  Economic Cost of Gun Violence in New Jersey 

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.