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New Jersey tackles ‘huge problem’ of gun trafficking

Gun trafficking is a “huge problem” in New Jersey, according to state law enforcement officials, and it’s one they’ve been throwing plenty of resources at to combat.

David McNew, Getty Images

Over the past two years, according to the Office of the Attorney General, more than 100 defendants have been indicted for trafficking more than 200 illegal guns into and within New Jersey.

“We don’t purport to have single-handedly solved the problem, but it’s something that we’re going to go all-in on,” said Elie Honig, director of the Division of Criminal Justice.

It was announced Tuesday that five men in North Jersey were indicted on charges related to the illegal trafficking of 11 guns, including two stolen handguns and a sawed-off shotgun. The weapons were allegedly transported to Newark from North Carolina.

Honig noted illegally-owned firearms make up the “vast majority” of crimes that occur on New Jersey’s streets.

“Violent street gangs are major consumers, so to speak, of this type of gun,” he said. “People who intend to use guns in connection with drug trafficking, in connection with robberies, are, by and large, not going to use guns that they’ve probably registered in their own name.”

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