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NJ Sees Sharp Rise in Handgun Permits

By Julie Daurio, WBGO News
September 6, 2013

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A new report from the Wall Street Journal finds a sharp increase in the number of permits to buy handguns being issued in New Jersey. Permits to buy handguns increased by 67 percent through June of this year compared with the same six-month period last year. The rise in gun sales brings up new questions about gun violence in the state. 

Scott Bach is the Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. He says that people should not be quick to associate an increase in guns with an increase in gun violence.

“Further regulating people who are already extensively regulated is off-target; you’re not going after the source of the problem.”

Todd Clear is Dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. He says there is not enough information to know that for sure.

“If it’s the case that these legitimate markets pose no threat to citizens, then we need to find that out so that we can start doing other things. But the point is, we can’t find that out until we start studying the problem.”

While Bach says the increase in gun permits shouldn’t lead to an increase in gun-related crimes, Clear says if more guns are available, more of them will get into the hands of people who use them to commit violent crimes.

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