NJ Politics Digest: Gov. Phil Murphy Takes Aim at Increasing Gun Tax

Gov. Phil Murphy has hit upon a very New Jersey way to discourage gun ownership

Guns cannot be carried in New Jersey.
Guns are being targeted for additional taxes in New Jersey, according to reports. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Gov. Phil Murphy has hit upon a very New Jersey way to discourage gun ownership—raise the tax on purchasing new firearms.

NJ101.5 reports that tucked inside the governor’s proposed budget—which also calls for raising the state sales tax, implementing a millionaires tax, and instituting levies on internet purchases and e-cigarettes—is a substantial increase in the amount of money the state collects in tax on the sale of new firearms.

New Jersey already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and Murphy is expected to sign new laws supported by the Democratic legislature further tightening restrictions.

Murphy’s budget projects $1.4 million in gun tax revenue but doesn’t actually disclose the rate the governor would like to raise the tax by, according the NJ101.5.

Support for the proposal is, predictably, along party lines.

Murphy, who claims New Jersey residents won’t mind paying his proposed higher taxes if they feel they are getting their money’s worth from the state government, said it only makes sense to update fees that haven’t been changed in decades while also trying to address gun violence, according the radio station report.

New Jersey lawmakers are also advancing legislation barring people from purchasing parts for firearms and constructing them at home themselves, according to NJ101.5. These guns are much more difficult to trace than firearms produced by manufacturers with recorded serial numbers, the station reports.

Quote of the Day: “Every one of these things has a cost factor to it, and no one is considering the cumulative impact.” — Michele Siekerka, president and chief executive of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, on the impact on business by such Murphy adminstration policies as increasing the state minimum wage, mandating earned sick leave and subsidizing nuclear power plants.

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NJ Politics Digest: Gov. Phil Murphy Takes Aim at Increasing Gun Tax