New Jersey has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation but many in the state are not supportive of these tough rules.

A North Jersey lawmaker is encouraging municipalities and counties  to pass Pro-Second Amendment Lawful Gun Owner resolutions.

Assemblyman Parker Space, R-Sussex, said every time there’s a shooting or a big crime committed by someone using a gun, the issue gets distorted.

“A lot of times they try to take it out on the law abiding citizens. I call them the gun-grabbing legislators in Trenton," he said.

Even though the resolutions are non-binding, Space said they are meant to send a message to Trenton about law-abiding gun owners: “Maybe they aren’t the problem. Maybe we should actually go after the criminals, go after the ones that don’t follow the law.”

More than 30 municipalities and four counties have passed Second Amendment rights resolutions:

  • Cape May County
  • Salem County
  • Warren county
  • Egg Harbor (Atlantic)
  • Dennis (Cape May)
  • Lower Township (Cape May)
  • Middle Township (Cape May
  • Upper Township (Cape May
  • Deerfield (Cumberland)
  • Downe (Cumberland
  • Lawrence (Cumberland)
  • Maurice River (Cumberland)
  • Stow Creek (Cumberland)
  • Franklin (Gloucester)
  • Berkeley (Ocean)
  • West Milford (Passaic)
  • Alloway (Salem)
  • Sussex Borough (Sussex)
  • Franklin Borough (Sussex)
  • Stillwater (Sussex)
  • Montague (Sussex)
  • Branchville (Sussex)
  • Hamburg (Sussex)
  • Hopatacong (Sussex)
  • Pennsville (Salem)
  • Oxford (Warren)

Among the recent gun laws adopted in New Jersey are a red-flag law to make it easier to confiscate weapons from potentially dangerous people, stricter regulations for gun-carry permits, promoting the sale of firearms with smart-gun technology, and background checks for private gun sales.

Space said lawmakers are imposing a growing number of restrictions on gun ownership, and raising fees for anything related to a firearm. Meanwhile, lawmakers are moving to give voting rights to convicted felons and driver's licenses to people in the country illegally.

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When asked about the resolutions, Gov. Phil Murphy said that they are unnecessary and counter-productive.

“We have respect for the Second Amendment — that’s not what we’re after here. But we can make our state safer," he said.

Murphy said Space's effort is an over-reaction, similar to what happened when the issue of increasing gun licensing fees was raised.

“Folks claimed that we were ultimately coming after their guns," he said. "If we raise the dog license fees, I don’t think anyone has ever told me they think we’re coming after their dogs.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly listed Atlantic County among the entities to pass a resolution in support of Second Amendment rights.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com