⬛ New Jersey has among the lowest gun ownership rates in the nation

⬛ Violence Policy Center ties gun ownership to gun deaths

⬛ Gun related deaths are up nationwide

An anti-gun group is tying gun ownership to gun related deaths and calling for tougher laws restricting the purchase of firearms.

The Violence Policy Center ranks New Jersey as having among the lowest number of gun related death rates in the nation, coming in at number three, behind Massachusetts and Hawaii.

Kristen Rand, VPC Government Affairs Director, says "America is facing an unprecedented gun violence crisis. The evidence could not be more compelling that our spiraling gun death rates are driven by exposure to firearms."

New Jersey's gun ownership rate is less than 20%, according to a 2019 study in American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The Garden state also has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.

Violence Policy Center
Violence Policy Center

VPC praised states that severely restrict gun ownership, including restricting access to so-called assault weapons, setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and restrictions on the open and concealed carrying of firearms in public.

New Jersey's restriction, VPC claims, are the reason the state has a rate of 5.13 gun deaths per 100,000 people. That number is about two-thirds lower than the national rate of 14.71.

By contrast, VPC says Mississippi and Louisiana have the highest gun ownership rates in the nation, and people in those states were six times more likely to die in a gun related incident than in New Jersey.

Violence Policy Center
Violence Policy Center

The figures were released while the nation deals with more mass shootings.

The United States has seen dozens of people killed in mass shootings so far in 2023.

One person was killed and three more were wounded Wednesday in a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas

On Monday, where three students were killed and five more were wounded at Michigan State University. The gunman was from Ewing.

In January, 11 people were killed in the Los Angeles-area city of Monterey Park as they welcomed the Lunar New Year at a dance hall popular with older Asian Americans.

Nationally and in New Jersey, efforts continue to restrict gun ownership.

President Joe Biden signed a law last June making it harder for some people to purchase a firearm and he has renewed his call for an assault weapons ban.

Gov. Phil Murphy has also aggressively pushed and anti-gun agenda. He and his allies in the Democratically controlled legislature have passed sweeping restrictions on gun ownership and open-carry permissions. Those laws are being challenged in court by gun rights advocates.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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