NJ Politics Digest: NJ Statistics Show We’re Just Not Crazy About Guns

Surrendered handguns.

Handguns. David McNew/Getty Images

Gun Owners in New Jersey are a relative rarity. The Garden State is about to reclaim the title for state with the fewest background checks per capita. A report on NorthJersey.com notes that because purchase records are not public information, background checks are the best gauge of gun-buying interest in the United States.

The report said federal data indicates that through November 2018, there were only 29 firearms-permit background checks per 1,000 families in New Jersey, the lowest per capita of any state.

Illinois was leading the nation in 2018, with 574 per 1,000 households. Among the states with the lowest number are Hawaii, with an expected rate of 31 checks per 1,000 households, and New York, with 48 per 1,000. Since 2016, Hawaii has led the country in the fewest background checks.

The numbers don’t mean guns are totally shunned in New Jersey, which has some of the strictest firearms regulations in the country. In total, the state is likely to conduct about 93,000 background checks per year, according to the report. While that’s more than twice the number conducted a decade ago, it is following national trends.

The report also notes, however, that the number of background checks in New Jersey is slightly higher than in South Dakota, which ranked tenth in the per-capita calculation because of its low population.

Quote of the Day: “I believe if that is your intent—to deceive people—you should disclose you are not a human being.” — Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker on his proposal to require upfront identification of posts by online communication bots.

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NJ Politics Digest: NJ Statistics Show We’re Just Not Crazy About Guns