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New Jersey Phil Murphy gun stores
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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Some gun-control advocates have considered [Senate President Stephen] Sweeney an obstacle to tougher laws. When Sweeney lost re-election last month, Fred Gutenberg, a gun-control advocate who is the father of a Parkland, Florida, shooting victim, tweeted that the outcome ”not a bad thing.”

 And Gutenberg recently told NJ Globe he expects Sweeney will face heat on the 2025 campaign trail over guns.

“The reality of gun violence exists, and you’re either going to be making the arguments on how to save lives, or not,” he told the website.

Sweeney brushes aside his critics.

“I’m not gonna be bullied by anyone,” the South Jersey Democrat said. “We passed a whole lot of gun legislation during my career. Just because you say here’s another 15 or 20, and this makes it better, well, none of those bills make violent crime better.”

Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, has voiced similar opposition to the new bill package and vowed to sue to stop any that become law.

“Not one of Governor Murphy’s schemes punishes gun crime,” Bach said. “Instead, every single one interferes with the Constitutional right of honest citizens to defend themselves in an emergency.”

— Brent Johnson in Murphy wants even tougher N.J. gun laws. But Sweeney plans to holster more restrictions.

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