NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled sweeping new reforms Thursday to combat gun violence.
The legislation was announced in Newark, the state’s biggest city which, as CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported, is no stranger to shootings.READ MORE: FBI Executes Search Warrant At Home Of Gabby Petito's Fiancé Brian Laundrie
“It’s been nine years and I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Michele Ruffin-Hughes.
Ruffin-Hughes will never forget the moment her husband, Donald Hughes, walked into their Newark home and fell face first on the floor. Hughes, a pastor, was shot and killed. He left behind seven children.
“We still haven’t gotten any justice. Nobody has ever been arrested,” Ruffin-Hughes said.
She’s now a member of Moms Demand Action, a group fighting to stop gun violence in America, and happy to hear Gov. Murphy is taking action.
Watch: Gov. Murphy’s Gun Safety Announcement In Newark
“I am proud to announce, perhaps, the most sweeping gun violence prevention package in the history of our nation,” Murphy said.
The proposals include:
- Requiring firearm safety training in order to get a gun permit,
- Mandating safe storage of firearms,
- Banning .50 caliber firearms,
- Raising the minimum age to purchase to 21, and
- Closing loopholes for importing out-of-state firearms.
“To be clear, New Jersey has a crime gun problem, not a responsible gun owner problem. Virtually all of the actions that I have outlined are focused on the crime gun problem, which also happens to be an issue of racial justice,” Murphy said.READ MORE: Yonkers Police: 2 Men Dead After One Jumps Off Building And Hits The Other 12 Stories Below
Alex Roubian is president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
“It’s absurd. There’s more laws that are gonna do absolutely nothing in public safety for New Jersey. They’re looking to create more laws so that it can go after minorities, put them in jail. There’s only people that can’t afford to comply with these laws or be able to obey them are going to be low income minorities,” Roubian said.
Scott L. Bach, executive director for the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs said in a statement, “Governor Murphy’s proposals are obsessed with micro-managing honest gun owners, who are not the problem, instead of severely punishing gun criminals. They won’t make anyone safer, and will only make headlines.”
Murphy said half the state’s gun homicides occur in five cities and the number of gun crimes has skyrocketed over the last year.
“We are tired of funerals and memorials,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.
Murphy proposed an additional $10 million for violence intervention programs, saying the state must support organizations like the Newark Community Street Team.
“It’s gonna change the lives of so many people,” said Solomon Middleton-Williams, the Street Team’s deputy director.
Sharon Redding, an anti-violence advocate who lost two nephews to gun violence, agrees.
“Start healing, block-by-block. I think we’ll start making some progress and I won’t have to worry about my granddaughter going outside,” Redding said.MORE NEWS: New York City Public Schools To Increase COVID Testing, Relax Quarantine Rules
The proposal also calls for $2 million to the Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers University.