Camden police believe New Jersey's new gun laws will help curb violent crimes

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy this week signed seven new bills into law aimed at curtailing gun violence, including legislation to allow the state attorney general to pursue lawsuits against the firearm industry.

One measure requires safety training to get a firearm purchasers permit, and another bans .50-caliber weapons. Murphy signed the measures alongside advocates for tighter gun laws and other public officials.

New Jersey has now joined Delaware in an effort to tighten its laws in the face of surging gun violence, while neighboring Pennsylvania is standing pat.

Camden’s Chief of Police welcomes the new gun restrictions in a city where ghost guns are a growing problem. Police took 61 of the untraceable weapons off the streets last year.


As part of its investigation into gun crimes, the Camden Police Department's Firearm Tracing Unit uses a sensitive computer program to analyze fired shells for groves and patterns to help find a possible link to other shootings. 

Lt. Christy Sarlo said the information also helps investigators learn who is committing the crimes and nail down a possible motive, such as gang-related violence. 

The host of gun reform bills signed by Murphy comes shortly after Delaware tightened its gun laws with six new pieces of legislation. Governor Carney signed 6 new laws banning assault weapons, limiting the size of magazines on firearms and, like New Jersey, opening gun manufacturers and dealers to legal claims.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recently restricted the ability of states to limit where firearms can be carried with a concealed carry permit. Camden’s Chief of Police Gabriel Rodriguez said that presents a big challenge for his city.

Despite the repeated pleas of big city mayors struggling with a surge in gun violence, Pennsylvania’s legislature has rejected recent attempts to toughen gun laws.