US

New Jersey Gun Dealers Face More Restrictions Under Governor Murphy’s Order

By GQ Pan

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Sept. 10 furthering the state’s purchasing and regulatory powers to hold gun manufacturers, retailers, and the financial institutions that provide services to those entities, accountable for promoting gun safety principles.

Alongside gun control advocates and the superintendent of state police, the Democratic governor signed the order that says the state government will no longer do business with gun manufacturers and retailers that fail to adhere to public safety principles.

Under Executive Order No. 83, gun manufacturers and retailers that wish to keep the state’s business will have to come up with policies to “prevent, detect, and screen for straw purchasers or firearm traffickers”. They are also required to prevent sales to prohibited individuals, to protect against the theft of firearms and ammunition, and to train their employees to cooperate with law enforcement at all levels to “promote public safety.”

new jersey gun store
A man checks out a handgun for sale at the RTSP shooting range in Randolph, New Jersey on December 9, 2015. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

“If we find folks not living up to our standards, we reserve the rights to stop doing business with them moving forward,” said Murphy at the signing ceremony in Morristown. “And where we find a retailer, who is doing the right things, but doesn’t yet have the ability to compete for state contracts, we will gladly open the doors to doing business with the good actors.”

Murphy’s administration said the state government purchases an estimated $70 million annually on guns, ammunition, and supplies.

The order also allows the state to pressure banks and other financial institutions to cease loaning money to “bad actors,” which, according to Murphy, accounts for “about 5 percent” of gun manufacturers and retailers in the United States.

Employees prepare a rifle for sale at the RTSP shooting range in Randolph, New Jersey on December 9, 2015. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

In addition, the state will prohibit or limit insurance companies from offering products that “encourage irresponsible gun use”. Last week, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance fined Lockton Affinity, an out-of-state insurer, $1 million for violating various state laws and regulations while administering the Carry Guard insurance program on behalf of the National Rifle Association.

Murphy, who vowed to make New Jersey “a leader in the fight for gun safety“, has introduced numerous gun laws since he came into office. In June 2018, he signed a bundle of six bills into law, which would reduce magazine capacity, banned armor-piercing bullets, made it harder to obtain a handgun carry permit, and expand background checks on private gun sales.

In July this year, Murphy’s administration adopted another four laws, including one designed to make personalized “smart guns” more easily available in the state.