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Brady Releases New Report on New Jersey’s Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence Through Executive Action

Through Open Records Requests Brady Has Analyzed the Impact and Importance of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 83

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2022 - Today, Brady releases Preventing Gun Violence with the Power of Procurement, a report on the effects of New Jersey’s Executive Order 83. This executive order, issued in 2019 by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, requires state procurement officials to ensure that firearm manufacturers and retail dealers who conduct business with the state certify adherence to specific safety protocols that aim to reduce gun violence, and the State Treasurer to assess whether financial institutions that do business with the state similarly conduct their business in a manner that promotes public safety in regards to firearms.

The report analyzes 376 pages of Request For Information (RFI) responses from vendors and financial institutions, finding that Executive Order 83 ensures that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely on businesses committed to making New Jersey communities safer, in turn promoting gun safety by incentivizing business practices that reduce gun violence.

“Our administration has done considerable work to address gun safety over the years and make New Jersey a national leader in this area, including signing Executive Order No. 83,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Executive Order No. 83 was enacted to promote responsible gun safety practices for gun vendors and financial institutions providing services to the state. I applaud the Brady Campaign in their efforts to advocate for more gun safety laws, including combating crime guns. Their report on the effects of New Jersey’s Executive Order No. 83 is significant as it shows through research and data just how beneficial our Executive Order has been.”

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s landmark Executive Order 83 is a model for state and local governments nationwide on how to leverage the government’s purchasing power to improve public safety and promote taxpayer interests. Our report demonstrates the real-world impact that this policy can have, illustrating for officials how best to spend state funds and award contracts as well as beginning dialogue with vendors and financial institutions on how to ensure that firearms sales are conducted to the highest possible safety standards.

Frighteningly, there is a concerted push in many states to do the opposite, and require financial institutions and government procurement officials to conduct business with the firearms industry with no preconditions or consideration of risk. Executive Order 83 disproves that extreme effort as both foolhardy and purely ideological. This report demonstrates that the state government can continue to properly defend the people’s interests and wisely spend taxpayer funds while promoting public safety. They are not in any way mutually exclusive. Brady urges every other state, city, or other local government to read this report and follow New Jersey’s example at once.”

Brady Legal Counsel Tess Fardon shared:

“The large majority of firearm businesses want to sell guns safely and responsibly to their customers. Governments have an obligation to spend taxpayer money at these gun businesses that prioritize public safety. Executive Order 83 allows New Jersey to evaluate whether its firearms vendors share the State’s commitment to protecting its communities from gun violence, and to ensure that in the future, New Jersey taxpayer money is used to reward only those vendors that follow safe business practices aimed at reducing gun violence. Brady encourages other state and local governments to follow New Jersey’s lead and adopt the recommendations contained in our report.”

About The Report’s Findings:

In analyzing these RFI responses, Brady found substantial variation in the tone and completion of responses from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), but that the majority indicated at least a satisfactory attention to practices that reduce gun violence by preventing straw purchases and gun trafficking. However, the responses also showed that the State was engaged in business with FFLs that indicated that they do not follow – and even would not improve – safety practices, illuminating for the state which of its vendors are operating in the best interest of New Jersey residents and public safety, and those who are not.

Of the 90 financial institutions responding to the request, the majority reported that they already had institutional policies in place to guide their business with the firearm industry. These policies – ranging from heightened monitoring of firearm industry clients to baseline business practice requirements that ensure firearm sales are conducted safely – also promote public safety

In sum, it is clear that Executive Order 83 helps to ensure that New Jersey spends its taxpayer dollars to benefit only responsible FFLs that promote public safety and encourages financial institutions to adopt policies that promote gun safety among their firearms industry clients and customers.

About Procurement As An Avenue to Reduce Gun Violence:

Executive Order 83 is the first state executive order of its kind in the nation, leveraging the purchasing power of the state government to improve business practices and ensure a commitment to public safety. New Jersey spends approximately $70 million annually on firearms and ammunition, making it a significant business stream for the gun industry. Nationwide, cities spend over $5 billion annually on firearms alone, making taxpayers the number one purchaser of firearms. This reality endows state, city and the federal government significant leverage, allowing them to use their purchasing power to demand the highest threshold of safe business practices for the firearms industry.

Combined with the business that these government entities conduct with financial institutions, city, state, and the federal government can affect significant change with their procurement policies. By demanding high safety standards for the firearms industry and encouraging financial institutions to leverage the services they provide to the firearms industry to require reforms, procurement policies such as those in Executive Order 83 can significantly reduce the flow of firearms from the legal to illegal market and help to prevent gun violence.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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