N.J. Gov. Murphy promises continued fight against gun violence amid spate of shootings

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, and mayors from across the state discuss gun violence prevention on May 28, 2019 in Trenton. (Edwin J. Torres/ Governor's Office)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, and mayors from across the state discuss gun violence prevention on May 28, 2019 in Trenton. (Edwin J. Torres/ Governor's Office)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy vowed Tuesday to continue combating gun violence after two mass shootings rocked the state capital over the holiday weekend.

A drive-by shooting outside a Trenton bar early Saturday morning injured 10 people. Another shooting on Monday left five injured and a teenage boy dead.

“The summer season is upon us and members of law enforcement and community leaders know that this is where we see a spike in gun violence,” Murphy said during a public meeting with state political leaders.

The meeting in Trenton on stemming gun violence in New Jersey was scheduled before the Memorial Day Weekend shootings. There, Gov. Murphy called again for an increase in gun permit and license fees, which he included in his budget proposal this year.

The Democrat also touted his policy of publicly identifying which states are the sources of guns used in crimes in New Jersey. He said it’s time to go even further.

“We’ve gone from naming and shaming states that contribute illegal guns. We’ve now begun to name and shame manufacturers,” Murphy said. “Now there is going to be a focus on dealers.”

Some of the officials at Tuesday’s event said they hoped the new measures would stem the tide of gun violence.

State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said cities like Trenton have struggled with the problem for decades with little progress.

“We haven’t seen enough in the way of tangible results,” she said.

Much of the focus remained on Trenton, however, which was still reeling from two mass shootings in three days.

“Trenton can’t continue to be a tale of two cities,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, “where you have people who are trying to have economic development and improvements to education, and you have neighborhoods that are racked with gun violence.”

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