NJ Gov. Blames Guns After Gang Member on Early Release Opens Fire

Suspect Gang Member
Mercer County Prosecutor's Office

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is calling for more gun control after a gang member on early release opened fire Sunday at a Trenton arts festival.

The gang member, 33-year-old Tahaji Wells, was killed by police, but other gunmen opened fire as well, leaving a total of 17 persons wounded.

Fox News /AP reports that Gov. Murphy “supports shorter sentences for offenders and cuts in prisoner rehabilitation programs.” In fact, Wells secured early release from prison in February of this year after serving 14 years of an 18-year sentence.

Murphy began calling for more gun control within hours of Wells opening fire:

New Jersey already has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country, including a requirement that residents secure the state’s permission via a Firearms Purchasers Identification Card (FID) before being allowed to buy a gun.

Moreover, the NRA-ILA reports that New Jersey prohibits gun possession by persons “convicted of aggravated assault, arson, burglary, escape, extortion, homicide, kidnapping, robbery, sexual assault; bias intimidation or endangering the welfare of a child; or any weapons offense; or any domestic violence offense including crime such as harassment, stalking or criminal restraint.”

Wells was in prison for “aggravated manslaughter.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at