Newly released documents dispute value of New Jersey's spending on guns and ammunition

The New York Times reported $70 million, but documents released to WPHT show much of that is not related to firearms.

Dan Borowski
September 18, 2019 - 1:03 pm

Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images

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With many, including President Trump, calling The New York Times into question in the wake of a reporting error regarding new allegations levied against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, documents obtained Wednesday through a New Jersey Open Public Records Act request by the Dom Giordano Program point to further sensationalized reporting to push a biased narrative.

In an article headlined A Novel Gun Control Strategy: Pressure Banks and Retailers published by The New York Times on September 10th, reporter Nick Corasaniti writes of a new initiative set forth by the state of New Jersey to address issues of gun violence. The state of New Jersey, as Corasaniti writes, “will stop doing business with gun manufacturers and retailers that fail to adopt policies that go beyond federal laws, like conducting expanded background checks, to stop guns from falling into the wrong hands, becoming the first state to take such stringent action against the firearms industry.”

Corasaniti continues by writing that the state will also apply pressure on banks and other financial institutions, seeking information on their relationship with gunmakers and sellers.

In the article to back up the value of such a proposal, Corasaniti writes: “New Jersey estimated that it has spent more than $70 million in recent years on firearms, supplies and ammunition for the State Police and other law enforcement agencies.”

In the OPRA response, documents show that only a fraction of the alleged $70 million spent on “firearms, supplies and ammunition” was spent on firearms, ammunition, and directly relating equipment. Rather than totaling $70 million, the amount spent for these items was about $22 million from 2012-2018.

1210WPHT via NJ OPRA Request

The remainder of the $70 million includes spending on Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection and search and rescue equipment, explosive device mitigation, police protection equipment such as body armor, radar instruments for traffic enforcement, tear gas guns, and perimeter warning systems.

1210WPHT via NJ OPRA Request

This is a developing story. The staff of the Dom Giordano Program have reached out to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's office and The New York Times for comment.