Senator Ed Durr testified against a package of new gun restrictions under consideration by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee today that he said won’t stop violent crime or do anything to protect schools.
Sen. Ed Durr testified against a package of new gun restrictions under consideration by the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee that he said won’t stop violent crime or do anything to protect schools. (NJ Senate Republicans/YouTube)
Included below are Senator Durr’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Governor Murphy is responding to a tragic event in Texas with a package of gun bills here in New Jersey that would do absolutely nothing to stop school shootings. I think increasing school security is something we all agree we should do. So why aren’t we doing that?
Governor Murphy doesn’t want to talk about the fact that he cut $375 million that the Legislature approved for school security projects.
Back in 2018, the Legislature approved a ballot initiative that would have allowed voters to decide whether to dedicate $1 billion to fund capital projects at our schools and county colleges.
Under that bipartisan plan, $450 million of the $1 billion would have been dedicated to funding school security projects to help protect our K to 12 schools.
Before it could get to voters, Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed the legislation and cut the total funding in half. Most importantly, he also eliminated any dedicated funding for school security.
The measure moved forward with the governor’s cuts, and it was approved by voters that November.
Instead of the $450 million that the Legislature originally approved, only $75 million was eventually made available by the Murphy administration for school security.
Today, almost all of the $75 million has been spent, showing the great demand for help from local school districts to complete these important security projects.
It’s likely that Governor Murphy’s reckless decision to cut school security funding has left many projects incomplete for lack of funds.
But instead of addressing that failure of the Murphy administration, we’re now considering a package of gun bills that will do nothing to stop school shootings or better protect our children and their teachers.
As we all know, New Jersey already has gun laws that are among the most restrictive in the entire nation.
These new proposals will only impact law-abiding citizens who will suffer a further erosion of their rights and who will find themselves charged for technical violations of the law.
We’ve seen time and again that actual criminals, the ones who commit the bulk of violent crimes with guns, are repeatedly set free with little consequence to victimize more people.
It’s law-abiding gun owners who make honest mistakes that we choose to throw the book at and put through legal hell. It doesn’t make any sense.
We know that the violent criminals who actually commit gun crimes, including thousands released from jail by the Murphy administration since the start of the pandemic, will pay absolutely no attention to these new laws.
Criminals who commit gun crimes aren’t going to register their guns when they bring them into New Jersey or obtain a firearm purchasers identification card, and they’re not going to get the training these bills require.
Criminals who commit gun crimes won’t buy their ammo from dealers who register sales, and they sure won’t use microstamped guns or use microstamped guns that are registered to them.
And if anyone can tell us the last time a .50 caliber rifle was used in the commission of a crime in New Jersey, I’d love to know. Banning their sale will have zero impact on gun crime since virtually no crimes are committed with them here or anywhere else.
Why don’t we do more to hold actual criminals accountable instead of turning more good people who try to follow the law into criminals?
So, we know this package of bills isn’t really about improving school security. And it isn’t about stopping violent gun crimes either. So what is it about?
It’s about Governor Murphy’s presidential ambitions and his desire to play to the far left-wing of the Democratic party who just want to see any and every kind of gun restriction passed, even bills like these that’ll do nothing to stop the kind of tragic shooting that happened recently in Texas.
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