New Jersey has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. But new data released by the Gov. Murphy administration shows most of the firearms used in crimes during the first three months of the year came from other states.

Murphy released the first GUNStat report during a news conference in Hackensack on Tuesday.

Murphy said the report finds more than 77 percent of guns used in crimes came from outside New Jersey, “predominantly from states with lax gun laws, which do not put the level of scrutiny on gun buyers that we do.”

Data compiled by the New Jersey State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicates that during the first quarter of the year, 83 guns used in crimes in New Jersey came from Pennsylvania, while many more came from states along the I-95 corridor, including 59 from Georgia, 58 from North Carolina, 47 from Virginia, 42 from South Carolina, and five from Delaware.

NJ Attorney General's Office
NJ Attorney General's Office

Firearms used in Jersey crimes also came from Alabama, Florida, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia.

Murphy noted the Garden State has strict gun control measures in place, “but we cannot and we will not rest on our laurels. We will continue to enact common sense legislation to make it harder for those with ill intent to get access to a gun. We know this will make all of our communities safer.”

State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the statistics are disturbing and the problem is immense, pointing to stats in April alone: 268 gun crimes, 93 shootings including 17 homicides.

“No individual, no community is immune from this problem," Grewal said.

Also at the news conference was Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was one of the 17 killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting rampage in February.

Murphy signed an executive order last month that mandates the publication of information about guns used in crimes.

The New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, which is affiliated with the NRA, said the data is entirely one-sided and completely ignores [...] the hundreds of thousands of times each year nationwide the mere presence of a legal firearm stops crime.”

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