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Poll: Does New Jersey Need to Change Its Gun Laws?

The recent tragedy in Oregon has put gun control back in the spotlight. How is New Jersey doing on this front?

The mass shooting at a community college in Oregon that left nine people dead last week has renewed a national conversation about gun violence and legislation aimed at preventing it.

Given the partisan gridlock that's dominating Washington, D.C., the issue has largely been left up to the states to decide.

How is New Jersey doing, and what, if anything, should the governor and Legislature do?

  • If New Jersey wants to prevent more gun violence, the laws here need to be relaxed. Right now, the state makes it too hard for law-abiding gun owners to practice their Second Amendment rights, and all the feel-good laws don't mean anything to criminals. Don’t blame the guns; it’s the criminals who use them.

  • Change nothing. New Jersey already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and we have one of the lowest firearm-death rates among U.S. states as well. We seem to have struck the right balance here.

  • New Jersey can do more. Bills that would limit gun-magazine capacity and tighten gun-permit background checks have been vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie in recent years. There is no reason not to have the toughest laws in the country.

  • There's some middle ground on this issue, even if the politics seem to push everyone to one side or the other. Certainly tougher laws can be enacted, but restrictions could also be loosened for hunters and sport shooters.

  • It doesn't really matter what New Jersey's laws are. As long as Congress refuses to seriously address the issue of gun violence, people will be able to buy guns in states with less restrictions and use them to commit crimes here. Closing loopholes and strengthening federal background checks must happen first.

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