In Brief

New N.J. gun law boosts state’s ranking by gun control group

By: - January 6, 2023 7:08 am

JERSEY CITY – MARCH 25: Only a few pistols remain on the shelf at Caso’s Gun-A-Rama store on March 25, 2021 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Caso’s Gun-A-Rama has had a significant increase in business with lines often out the door as more people buy guns for security and for fear that there will be increased bans on them. In the wake of recent mass shootings, the Biden administration is pushing for the Senate to pass gun legislation already passed by the House. Area gun businesses have seen a rise in sales recently that has even led to a shortage of bullets. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After New Jersey Democrats overhauled the state’s concealed carry laws, the state was named a national leader in strong gun laws by Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates against gun violence. 

The Garden State landed fourth on the organization’s list of states with the strongest gun laws, jumping four spots after Democrats last year passed legislation that sharply limits where people can carry firearms in the state.

Three other states rank higher than New Jersey on the nonprofit’s list: California is No. 1, followed by New York and Hawaii.

The gun law was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in December, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that restricted who can carry firearms in public. 

Everytown scored New Jersey’s gun law strength at 79 out of 100, noting the state requires background checks for handgun purchases, forces people to obtain a permit to carry a gun in public, allows law enforcement to seek court orders to prevent certain people from accessing guns, and requires secure storage for firearms.

Everytown ranks Mississippi, Arkansas, and Idaho at the bottom of its list, labeling them “national failures.” 

New Jersey is often praised for its gun laws by groups advocating for stricter gun control. The Giffords Law Center awarded the state an “A” for “setting an example for other states.”

The state’s newly implemented gun control measure prohibits people from carrying firearms in places like schools, parks, bars, and courthouses, requires people to purchase liability insurance to obtain a gun permit, and requires gun permit holders to take training courses.

The new law has been targeted by pro-gun rights groups as unconstitutional. One has sued state officials in federal court, saying the law violates numerous constitutional rights.

Everytown says high gun ownership plays a role in increased gun deaths.


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Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.