Executive Order No. 83 (2019) -

Executive Order No. 83 (2019)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 83 (2019)

An Order Mandating the Use of the State's Purchasing and Regulatory Powers to Promote Adoption of Gun Safety Principles by Gun Manufacturers and Retailers

Issued: September 10, 2019.

Effective: September 10, 2019.

WHEREAS, gun violence is a crisis with nearly 100,000 gun-related incidents each year in the United States and over 2,000 shootings each year in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is a national leader in identifying, developing, and enforcing gun violence prevention measures and yet, despite our success in adopting and implementing these measures, each day our residents remain at risk of gun violence regardless of time of day, location, or circumstance; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey experiences an average of 280 gun-related homicides, 184 gun-related suicides, 764 non-fatal interpersonal shootings, and 599 unintentional shootings per year; and

WHEREAS, gun violence results in serious physical, emotional, and social consequences not only for individuals directly impacted by gun violence but also for families, peers, neighbors, and communities; and

WHEREAS, gun violence disproportionately impacts our State's racial and ethnic minorities and young adults and has also increased fear and anxiety among our schoolchildren; and

WHEREAS, gun violence also has a significant adverse impact on the State's economy, including uncompensated costs and expenses related to healthcare, law enforcement, security, corrections, and our criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS, no parent should have to live in fear that his or her child will be a victim of gun violence, nor should children have to grow up in fear of being shot or of losing friends or family members to gun violence in their school or neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, there is clear evidence demonstrating that states such as New Jersey, with the strongest gun violence prevention laws, policies, and regulations have the fewest per capita gun violence deaths; and

WHEREAS, in the face of numerous tragedies, and despite the evidence that gun violence prevention laws make a difference, the federal government has repeatedly failed to act and has been unwilling to pass commonsense legislation to curb gun violence; and

WHEREAS, because of inherent limitations that states face when confronting the gun violence crisis without support from the federal government, it is imperative to identify initiatives outside of the legislative arena that can be immediately adopted to address the impact of gun violence in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, firearms dealers and manufacturers have the ability to help law enforcement prevent gun crime and gun violence by creating policies to prevent, detect, and screen for straw purchasers or firearm traffickers; to prevent sales to prohibited individuals; to protect against the theft of firearms and ammunition; to train vendor employees and have reasonable employment policies designed to ensure maximum compliance with the law; to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prevention of criminal access to guns; and to promote public safety; and

WHEREAS, taxpayers are the top purchasers of firearms, and State and local governments can use their procurement power to encourage reforms by firearms dealers and manufacturers on which they rely; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey is a leader on firearm safety measures, and can become a leader in using its procurement power to require firearms dealers and manufacturers on which it relies to take their own measures to promote public safety; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey cannot tackle gun violence alone and can maximize its efforts to hold the gun industry, and institutions that finance the industry, accountable for their practices by working with like-minded states to effectuate change and promote better public safety in the industry;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The scourge of gun violence in New Jersey necessitates an examination of whether State vendors that are manufacturers or retail dealers of firearms adhere to public safety principles relating to firearms.

2. For purposes of this Order, adherence to "public safety principles related to firearms" shall include but not be limited to mean:

a. For retail dealers of firearms, that such dealers have policies to prevent, detect, and screen for the transfer of firearms to straw purchasers or firearm traffickers; to prevent sales to prohibited individuals; to protect against the theft of firearms and ammunition; to train vendor employees and have reasonable employment policies designed to ensure maximum compliance with the law; to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prevention of criminal access to guns; and to promote public safety.

b. For manufacturers of firearms, that such manufacturers have standards for retail dealers authorized to sell the company's firearms that induce those dealers to adopt policies to prevent, detect, and screen for the transfer of firearms to straw purchasers or firearm traffickers; to prevent sales to prohibited individuals; to protect against the theft of firearms and ammunition; to train vendor employees and have reasonable employment policies designed to ensure maximum compliance with the law; to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prevention of criminal access to guns; and to promote public safety.

3. The Division of Purchase and Property ("DPP") is directed to issue a request, within 30 days, to all retail dealers or manufacturers of firearms that currently sell ammunition and/or firearms to the State to ascertain whether vendor practices, where applicable, adhere to the applicable public safety principles related to firearms listed above.

4. Upon receipt of information from such retailers and manufacturers, DPP shall determine whether and how to ensure that any prospective bid solicitation for ammunition and firearms include a requirement that each vendor, prior to award, certify adherence to public safety principles relating to firearms as defined in this Order.

5. The Treasurer is instructed to issue a request, within 30 days, to financial institutions providing services to the Department of Treasury, or any of its divisions, offices or agencies, to disclose whether such institutions have adopted any code of conduct or principles related to gun safety or responsible sales of firearms.

6. The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, within 30 days, is instructed to take all appropriate action within her authority to prohibit and/or limit the sale, procurement, marketing or distribution of insurance products that may serve to encourage the improper use of firearms.

7. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published January 3, 2012 in the New Jersey Register at 44 N.J.R. 3(a). Published September 10, 2019 in the New Jersey Register at 51 N.J.R. 1490(a).)

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