The 15 states that supplied NJ with the most illegal guns this year –

Since he took office, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has taken an aggressive stance on gun control in New Jersey, reversing his predecessor’s move to loosen concealed carry licensing and intervening in a nationwide legal controversy over 3D-printed firearms, among other measures.

One of the biggest challenges the state’s executive branch continues to face is controlling the influx of out-of-state guns – weapons that he can’t regulate.

Of the firearms seized from crime scenes by New Jersey law enforcement agencies in the first six months of this year, 77 percent of those recovered in the first quarter and 82 percent of those seized in the second quarter were originally purchased out of state, according to New Jersey State Police.

Under the administration’s GUNStat program, State Police and the Attorney General’s Office are now publishing quarterly reports tracking, among other data, which states have been the original purchasing locations for firearms seized by law enforcement agencies in New Jersey.

Law enforcement authorities have said most illegal guns from out of state make the journey to the Garden State via the “iron pipeline,” a nickname for the Interstate 95 corridor that connects the New York metro area to southern states with less restrictive gun laws.

Of the top 15 out-of-state sources for firearms seized by police in the state this year, eight are in the South, according to State Police data. The No. 1 source, however, is much closer to home.

Here are the top 15 states that sold firearms eventually seized in New Jersey in the first six months of 2018, ranked in order of firearms traced to each state since Jan. 1: 

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