State of New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Making “Ghost Guns” Illegal in New Jersey

The guns can be 3-D printed and are untraceable by law enforcement

TRENTON- Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation making it illegal in New Jersey to purchase parts to manufacture or distribute information to print “ghost guns,” homemade or 3D printed firearms that are untraceable by law enforcement. The Governor was joined by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and bill sponsor Senator Joe Cryan. The bill was also sponsored by Senator Nick Scutari, Assemblymen Paul Moriarty and Gary Schaer, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano.

“Last night, there was a shooting in Thousand Oaks, California that claimed 12 lives, including a police officer who reported to the scene,” said Governor Murphy. “These instances are far too common and we cannot allow any instance of this kind of violence to go unnoticed. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. But it is through action that we can make definitive changes to end these kinds of deadly mass shootings. New Jersey is committed to being a leader in ending gun violence to make sure that future generations don’t continue to face this kind of fear.

“Today, I am proud to sign a bill into law that will continue making our communities, families, and brave men and women of law enforcement safer,” Governor Murphy continued. “Ghost guns can be created by anyone with a computer and access to a 3D printer, giving the public at large the ability to build their own unregistered, unsafe, and untraceable firearm. Now, thanks to the Legislative sponsors who worked to quickly make this bill a reality, kits to assemble ghost guns will no longer be allowed in New Jersey.”

In June, Attorney General Grewal issued a cease and desist letter to companies that produce blueprints for ghost guns and joined like-minded Attorneys General from around the country in the successful effort to block the release of those blueprints. 

“Printable guns and ghost guns put the safety of our residents and our law enforcement officers at risk, because they give anyone—even terrorists, felons, or domestic abusers—access to an untraceable gun,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I took a stand this summer against individuals attempting both to post codes for 3D printable guns online and sell ghost guns into our state. That’s why as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer, I’m proud to stand with Governor Murphy and the Legislature as they give law enforcement additional tools to rid our streets of these dangerous weapons.”

The ghost gun bill passed the Legislature by a significant margin, with only five members from either chamber opposing the measure.

“These so-called ‘ghost guns’ are the byproduct of the dark side of new technologies that allow people to make firearms that are hidden from detection and made to be untraceable,” said Senator Cryan, who previously served as Sheriff of Union County. “They are deadly weapons that are especially dangerous because they can literally be made at home with plastic parts and by using new 3-D printers. These homemade weapons can be a path to gun ownership for people who are a danger to themselves or others, including felons, people with mental illnesses, those convicted of domestic violence and others who are not supposed to be armed with deadly firearms. They pose a serious threat, which is why we are enacting the strongest ghost gun law in the country.”

“Instead of making it harder for criminals to obtain weapons, new technology and mail-order kits are only making it easier for criminals to manufacture firearms at home,” said Assemblyman Moriarty. “Our only recourse is to arm our court system with additional penalties for those who choose to skirt the law, avoid licensure and manufacture these types of firearms to keep or even to sell. We’re saying no to ghost guns, and no to 3-D firearms. Not in New Jersey.”

Since taking office earlier this year, Governor Murphy has made tackling the epidemic of gun violence a major priority. On June 13, Governor Murphy signed six gun safety bills into law. Those laws mandated background checks for private firearm sales, reduced magazine capacity to 10 rounds, changed handgun permit regulations, and created a system for law enforcement to confiscate firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or to others. The Governor has also worked with other states to create the States for Gun Safety Coalition, signed an executive order to publish regular reports on gun data, established a Gun Violence Research Center at Rutgers University, and appointed Bill Castner as the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Firearms. 

Following the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in late October, Governor Murphy vowed to sign legislation that would address the following critical areas: anti-gun trafficking, investing in smart gun technology, regulating ammunition, and promoting violence intervention for at-risk individuals. 

 

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