The state will also apply pressure on major financial institutions, seeking information from banks that do business with New Jersey about their relationships and policies involving gun makers and sellers.

The state, which says it pays more than $1 billion in bank fees every year, could use the disclosure requirements to decide whether to continue doing business with financial firms.

New Jersey estimates that it spends more than $70 million per year on firearms, supplies and ammunition for the state police and other law enforcement agencies.

The measures, which will be unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Philip D. Murphy, a Democrat, represent a novel strategy after a spate of mass shootings and a lack of action around gun violence in Washington.

Several major banks have already taken matters into their own hands, cutting off banking and credit card services to gun retailers and stopping the lending of money to manufacturers who do not abide by age limits and background checks.

Now New Jersey has essentially decided to make its own rules to restrict the flow of guns, and officials said they hoped it would encourage other liberal states to follow their lead.

Beside background checks, the state will also not do business with retailers who do not have policies prohibiting firearm sales to people with a history of mental illness or convictions involving domestic abuse, among other red flags.

Though New Jersey already has strict rules around background checks and people who are forbidden from buying guns in the state, Murphy is seeking to expand those rules nationwide.

Gun makers and retailers seeking to sell to the state’s law enforcement agencies would have to abide by New Jersey’s policies even if they operate in states with less stringent gun laws.

“Taxpayers are the top purchasers of firearms,” according to an executive order that Murphy is expected to sign. “The State should not be purchasing firearms, ammunition or equipment from vendors that place civilians and law enforcement in harm’s way by virtue of not adopting responsible practices related to firearms.”

Murphy’s order applies to state troopers, prosecutor offices and local law enforcement agencies that make purchases through the state. It would not include other municipal police forces that buy firearms directly from manufacturers or retailers.

New Jersey buys firearms, ammunition and related products from retailers and manufacturers based in the state and elsewhere around the country. The executive order would cover future contracts and does not need legislative approval.

New Jersey’s action is likely to draw strong pushback from the gun industry and its allies, who have been swift to promise bans and boycotts of companies that have instituted policies aimed at the gun industry.

“That’s something that the governor’s office has to consider,” said Alex Roubian, president of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, referring to the possibility of a boycott of New Jersey by firearms manufacturers. “Because if they’re going to put police officers’ lives in danger because of politics, that’s on the governor, not on the gun industry.”

New Jersey’s action came on the same day that Congress was expected to debate various gun control measures, including restricting high-capacity magazines, though it was unclear whether the Trump administration would lend its support.

Murphy and the governors of 11 other states, including New York and California, sent a letter Tuesday to President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, demanding that they support universal background checks and so-called red flag laws to prevent people who pose a risk to themselves or others from buying firearms.

“Putting an end to the gun violence epidemic is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it is an American issue,” the letter said.

While New Jersey has some of the country’s strictest gun control laws, Murphy’s executive order seeks to take on an issue that the state, like other states with similar laws, struggles with — stemming the flow of illegal guns into New Jersey.

Citing a study by the Brady Campaign, a gun-control organization, the governor’s office said that about 5% of dealers across the country were responsible for providing 90% of the guns used in crimes.

New Jersey’s plan requires that retailers, among other steps, implement policies to “prevent, detect and screen for the transfer of firearms to straw purchasers or firearm traffickers.”

Though the executive order does not provide details, the governor’s office said sellers could make sure that the name on the method of payment matches the name of a buyer or could limit the purchases of firearms to one per 30 days.

Murphy’s plan would also seek to prevent the sale of firearms to “prohibited individuals,” which as defined by New Jersey is a broad list.

Aside from people with a history of mental illness and those convicted of crimes related to domestic abuse, it would also include people convicted of any violent crimes and drug dealing, as well as buyers on a terrorist watch list kept by the FBI.

New Jersey’s move could also be the first step toward pressing other Wall Street banks to reassess their relationship with the gun industry.

While Citigroup and Bank of America publicly distanced themselves from gun manufacturers last year, many of the other big firms did not follow suit, in part, out of fear of a backlash from Trump administration regulators and conservative states.

New Jersey’s requirement that financial firms disclose their ties to gun makers could provide the public with new and specific details that some firms have been reluctant to divulge.

Murphy is hoping that other states, particularly those with large law enforcement budgets like New York, will join his effort. Last year, Murphy and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York formed a States for Gun Safety coalition that now counts eight states and Puerto Rico as members.

Murphy, who has made gun control one of the core issues of his tenure, drew praise from national gun control advocacy groups for his initiative.

“With this executive order Gov. Murphy is blazing a new path for states that want gun manufacturers, retailers and financial institutions to take action to help end gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “And we hope to see other governors quickly follow suit.”

This article originally appeared in

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