New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is appointing Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield vice president Bill Castner as his senior advisor on firearms.
Murphy says Castner will make sure the administration is properly tracking progress in stopping the scourge of gun violence and help identify new innovative partnerships.
“We hope that in having a single point of confluence for all of our gun safety efforts we will be a model for our nation on smart policy and smarter programs.”
Castner says he’ll coordinate the initiatives the governor has already launched and will evaluate potential legal challenges against unscrupulous gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
“There is broad federal immunity for the gun industry that happened in Washington. But I can say authoritatively that New Jersey can pursue aggressive actions against bad actors. And all I can say on that front is pleased stay tuned.”
Prominent gun rights activists attended the event where Castner’s appointment was announced.
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was critically wounded in a 2011 shooting says stopping gun violence takes courage.
“The courage to do what’s right. The courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. Now is the time to come together, be responsible, Democrats, Republicans, everyone.”
The governor says he’s awaiting Senate action next month on six gun safety bills the Assembly passed in March so he can sign them into law.