Officials from states with strong gun restrictions want stricter firearm control in places with weaker laws to thwart traffickers. The fatal attack on a Jewish market in Jersey City, N.J., shows how fruitless those efforts can be, the Associated Press reports. Three civilians and a police officer were gunned down Tuesday by two killers with anti-Semitic and anti-law enforcement beliefs, the state’s attorney general said. The attackers carried five firearms and a pipe bomb in the U-Haul van they drove to the market, officials said. Two weapons used by David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, were bought by Graham in Ohio last year. New Jersey is among the states with the nation’s toughest gun restrictions. Gov. Phil Murphy has signed over a half-dozen new restrictions and has highlighted the so-called iron pipeline of guns from states along the Interstate 95 corridor.
Monthly data on guns recovered from crimes show that nearly 80 percent of crime guns are from out of state. Murphy says it’s important to “name and shame” states with weaker gun laws that effectively export weapons into New Jersey. In California, the governor and attorney general this year criticized the continued ability to bring in illegal firearms from other states despite California’s strict gun laws. Officials renewed demands for gun control at the federal level. “It keeps happening, over and over and over again, on their damn watch,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said of federal politicians. “I can’t put borders up in a neighboring state where you can buy this damn stuff legally.” Second Amendment advocates reject the need for tougher laws. Scott Bach of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs said, “Criminals laugh at gun regulations — the only thing they understand is severe punishment for actual gun crime.”