New Jersey earns top grades from anti-gun violence group

David Madden
February 15, 2020 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An annual study on gun safety laws gives New Jersey an A grade, a first for the Garden State. 

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, based in San Francisco, has given New Jersey an A-minus for several years. This year, it joins California in getting the highest grade available. 

Senior counsel Allison Anderman notes a number of reasons for the overall high marks.

"New Jersey has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation and has been consistently strengthening its laws over the past several years," Anderman said. "It has the sixth lowest gun death rate in the nation and nation’s lowest crime gun export rate, which means that guns recovered in crimes outside of New Jersey originate in New Jersey at the lowest rates." 

Asked about the grade at an event in Maple Shade, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy expressed his gratitude, not just for the recognition but for the efforts made on various fronts to make the state safer. 

But on the other hand, any state can only go so far. 

"There’s nothing that can come close to federal legislation," the governor said. "When you’ve got high 80% of Americans who believe and support things like universal background checks, I beg that somehow we can get the will of the Congress, both chambers and a president, to sign federal legislation."

Murphy and law enforcement officials in New Jersey have steadfastly maintained that most of the guns used in violent crimes come from other states down south and in neighboring Pennsylvania. 

At least, that’s what Garden State officials have steadfastly maintained. The Giffords study shows Pennsylvania’s export rate at about the national average. 

On the other hand, the commonwealth has enacted some stronger gun safety laws recently, earning a C-plus in the survey. 

Delaware received a B.