New Jersey AG orders police to share info on crime guns

In this May 25, 2017 photo, a handgun is shown under a camera at the New Jersey state police forensics lab in Hamilton, N.J. Technicians study the inside of weapons to look for blood, body tissue and fibers after shootings.(AP Photo/Josh Cornfield)

In this May 25, 2017 photo, a handgun is shown under a camera at the New Jersey state police forensics lab in Hamilton, N.J. Technicians study the inside of weapons to look for blood, body tissue and fibers after shootings.(AP Photo/Josh Cornfield)

New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has ordered all state and local police forces to share information on buyers and sellers of guns used in crimes.

The Garden State’s law enforcement agencies are already required to trace all guns used in crimes in the state. But they have never been required to share the results of such a trace with one another for guns coming from other states.

Jennifer Davenport, a first Assistant Attorney General for New Jersey, said good information-sharing makes it easier to spot patterns across jurisdictional lines. “You’re able to go in and see other reports or see other information to develop the intelligence, in order to further the efforts of trying to figure out the trafficking patterns and things of that nature,” she said.

This will help police, said Evan Sorg, professor of law and justice studies at Rowan University, because New Jersey has hundreds of municipalities.

“We have so many small police departments in our state, really, every state,” he said. “We have detectives from different agencies potentially conducting investigations into the same guns or criminals, whatever the case may be. And oftentimes they’re not sharing that information.”

The effort to boost inter-agency sharing comes as Governor Phil Murphy has stepped up efforts to cut down on the number of illegal guns flowing into the Garden State.

Joe Hernandez contributed to this story.

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