Gov. Phil Murphy will bring his bid for increased gun safety to Westfield on Wednesday, where a man was arrested last week in the parking lot of an elementary school holding a .45-caliber handgun with an arsenal of hollow-point bullets.
Murphy is expected to call for boosting gun fees and adding additional taxes to make owning guns more costly, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
A state budget introduced by legislators yesterday did not include gun fees.
In his budget address in March, Murphy called for increasing gun fees — in some instances, twenty times their current rate.
Westfield Mayor Shelly Brindle is expected to join Murphy at the news conference.
It is not immediately known whether Murphy will call out Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, a Westfield resident who has a 100% rating from the National Rifle Association, for his opposition to gun safety measures in the legislature.
Bramnick faces a tough race for re-election to an 8th term in the Assembly from a district that has tilted toward Democrats in recent years.
A Delaware man, Thomas Wilkie was found in a car outside the Tamaques Elementary School with two additional loaded magazines of ammunition and another 130 rounds in his car. The school was placed on lockdown and students attending an after-school session were held in place until after 5:30 PM.