It’s called the “Iron Pipeline,” that stretch of Interstate 95 and its connector highways that extend from states where guns are cheap and easy to buy like Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia to New Jersey where guns are tightly restricted and illegal weapons can fetch a high price.
The newly revamped NJGunStat website lays out the facts: In the first quarter of 2019, 83 percent of 569 guns used in the commission of a crime came from out of state. Digging a little deeper in the data, supplied by the New Jersey State Police, reveals where the guns came from: Pennsylvania (78), Virginia (58), North Carolina (61), South Carolina (43), Georgia (49).
Handguns are the weapon of choice, with 9 mm pistols recovered most commonly (73), followed by .40 caliber (30), .30 caliber (29), and .22 caliber (27).
As for where smuggled guns are used in crimes: Essex County (52), Camden (27), Mercer (24), Passaic (21), Hudson (20 ), and Bergen (18). Warren, Sussex, and Hunterdon were tied for last place, with one gun recovered in each.