Following the shooting rampage at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday that left 11 people dead and dozens more injured, Gov. Phil Murphy is calling for additional gun control legislation to be passed by the New Jersey Legislature.

He’s also confirmed local and State Police patrols around synagogues and Jewish community centers have been stepped up, but would not give any details.

During a Monday afternoon news conference, Murphy said so far in New Jersey we’ve been lucky that “the peddlers of Antisemitism at least so far have armed themselves only with cans of spray paint and words of hate, and not guns.”

However, “we must ensure those intent on acting on their hate through violence do not have access to guns.”

The governor said gun violence is not something that can be eliminated through “a single magic law” but requires constant attention to close any loopholes that are exposed.

He’s calling for a comprehensive package of legislation, his “gun safety package 2.0,”

"New Jersey currently does not have a specific law criminalizing all aspects of gun trafficking and straw purchasing," the governor's office said in news releast. "Governor Murphy believes that New Jersey needs to make it illegal for anyone who is disqualified from owning a gun to purchase or sell a firearm and to expand our laws to make it easier to prosecute illegal gun trafficking."

He said at the news conference New Jersey "cannot allow any daylight that would allow someone that does not have a legal right to possess a firearm from either receiving or selling a gun."

In addition, “we will seek to add a conviction for illegal firearms possession to the list of crimes that would disqualify a person from being able to purchase a gun," he said.

Another measure already in the pipeline would more closely regulate the sale of ammunition, requiring a photo ID, and “we would bar individuals disqualified from owning a gun from purchasing or ammunition, closing that loophole.”

All sales of handgun ammunition would have to be reported to the State Police.

Another measure, already introduced by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg D-Bergen, would require gun stores to sell one type of smart gun, once the technology has been perfected and smart guns are commercially available.

The governor is also calling for a new grant program to be established “to help targeted cities implement coordinated evidence based violence intervention strategies, bringing together private resources, available federal funds and state appropriations to reach a total goal of $15 million.”

Murphy said the time for action is now and the Legislature should move quickly.

“I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with both leaders (of the state Senate and Assembly) and their colleagues to get these measures passed and on my desk so I can sign them into law," Murphy said.

The governor said he can’t believe gun control laws have to be continually examined and updated to prevent the possibility of an outbreak of violence in the Garden State, “but that doesn’t mean we’re hopeless, that doesn’t mean we’re any less resolved, that means we’re going to do everything literally within our power, including keeping the pressure on in Congress.”

Also on Monday, both the Senate and Assembly passed bills to ban so-called "ghost guns"

Both houses of the Legislature passed another gun-control bill Monday, to ban "ghost guns" — by making it illegal to sell untraceable components that could be used to construct guns. The measure further bans 3D-printed guns.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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