Last month Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order binding the state to share gun incident data with the public monthly and quarterly.
“Our goal is to shine a bright light on the epidemic of gun violence in New Jersey. So far, in New Jersey in 2018 every county has experienced multiple gun crimes. This is not just an urban problem – which it is. It’s also an entire state problem,” said Murphy.
It’s called the NJGUNStat Report. The first one shows that of 268 guns used in crimes, and recovered by police, in the first quarter of 2018, 77 percent came from out of state, with Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia leading the way.
There were 93 shooting victims in April in the state. Seventy six of the victims were wounded – which accounts for 82 percent, and 17 were murdered, accounting for 18 percent.
Fred Guttenberg was the lead-off speaker here. His 14- year-old daughter Jamie was one of the 17 killed in the Parkland School School shooting in February.
“From the day following her murder, I’ve set out on a mission to destroy the gun lobby, and to get common sense gun reforms passed in every state and across this country,” said Guttenberg. “To my surprise over the course of that week, there are a lot of people who reached out to me who never knew me, but they did it because they’re leaders. Your governor was one of those people.”
Sen. Loretta Weinberg has been working on the gun issue for 20 years and welcomed Guttenberg to her district.
“To you Fred, you’re getting through the most unspeakable of tragedies – certainly nothing any parent can ever prepare for. But, thank you for the work that you’re doing and when you came out and you looked at me and you said, ‘we are going to make change’ and I have confidence now.”
She said the movement to cut down on gun violence has finally turned a corner. New Jersey’s two top law enforcement officials were on hand to back up the numbers and endorse the effort.
“The numbers don’t lie, 268 crime guns recovered in April alone, 93 shooting incidents in April alone,” said Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s Attorney General.
“This is an epidemic, I know we’re fighting opiates on one front and now we’re fighting violent crime and weapons on this front. I think of Fred and Jamie, the Sandy Hooks, I think of Las Vegas, I think of Pulse nightclub,” said New Jersey superintendent of police Col. Patrick Callahan.
“Leave it to a father who has lived through this unspeakable tragedy. You’ll want to fight every day to make sure no other Dad has to live through this ever again,” said Murphy.
Yesterday, Murphy had Gabby Giffords, and a Sandy Hook father at an anti-gun event in Trenton. Today, it was a Parkland father and a bunch of new statistics. The focus is on guns.