Gun safety

We are committed to keeping New Jersey’s gun safety legislation in place and in looking for opportunities to assist law enforcement and the people of New Jersey take steps to make gun ownership safer, and less likely to result in tragic accident or misuse of firearms. In the first instance we are proud that New Jersey already has strong gun safety laws in place and functioning day to day. We encourage and support enhanced gun safety programs around the issue of storing and handling guns in the home. These are the cases, along with domestic violence, where momentary lapses of judgment can lead to tragic results. The benefits to New Jersey must be preserved by turning back proposals to weaken individual state laws by mandating “reciprocity” in gun regulations across states. If this were to pass, visitors to the state of New Jersey would be subject to permit and carry regulation equal to that of the state they come from.

As noted above, New Jersey already ranks among the top states for gun safety legislation. Whereas the federal ban on assault weapons expired in 1994, New Jersey’s remains in place. New Jersey requires anyone who owns a gun of any sort to have a permit and to have passed a background check prior to the issuance of that permit. The state requires a separate permit for the purchase of any hand gun and requires a separate permit for each hand gun purchased. No more than one handgun per month may be purchased in New Jersey. New Jersey mandates a 30 day waiting period between the receipt of the permit and the purchase of a gun for handguns (45 days for non-residents). There is a 7 day waiting period between the purchase of a handgun and the transfer of that gun to the buyer.

Permits to carry concealed weapons are at the discretion of law enforcement. Any person convicted of a felony is ineligible to purchase firearms in New Jersey. Persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offences are prohibited from possessing firearms as are persons subject to protective orders. The state requires all firearm dealers and their employees to be licensed. Probably for this reason, New Jersey has the third lowest rate of guns leaving the state and being used in crimes. On the other hand, about 80% of the guns used in crimes in New Jersey come from outside the state.

Like most states, New Jersey prohibits the sale and ownership of sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and armor penetrating bullets. New Jersey mandates that “personalized handguns” sometimes called “smart guns” be made available once the technology is mature enough for retail sale. Some legislators like Senator Weinberg believe that smart gun technology is available now and should be brought to the New Jersey market, others like Governor Christie claim that the technology is not yet available. There is reason to question whether such skeptics will ever find the technology “ready for market”.

Our LD25 assemblymen, Anthony M. Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll, have been primary sponsors of the following bill for two legislative sessions – a bill titled “Amends and repeals certain part of the NJ firearms statues.”  It is currently the Law and Public Safety Committee. Primary features of this bill are to eliminate permitting for any person aged 16 or over to purchase a handgun. There would be no background checks beyond those required by federal law. There would be no restrictions on possession, purchase or sale of assault firearms. Restrictions on large capacity ammunition magazines and armor penetrating bullets would be removed. Many of the criminal laws and sentencing provisions related to unlawful possession, carrying, sale, transfer and manufacture of firearms would be eliminated. Committing any crime while in possession of a firearm would be a third degree crime. No mandatory minimum sentences or periods of parole ineligibility would be attached to crimes committed while in possession of a firearm.

On another note….S2483 Domestic Violence Firearms bill

On November 21, 2016 the NJ Assembly passed the domestic violence firearms bill (S2483) which “enhances the protections domestic violence victims by restricting access to firearms by certain persons; provides for minimum terms of incarceration for offenders who commit physically violent acts.”

This bill had a total of 24 sponsors and co-sponsors, five of whom are Republicans.

Roll Call:   Yes {61}   No {2}   Not Voting {8}   Abstains {8} (will provide party affiliation detail here shortly)

Bucco, Anthony M. – Abstain

Carroll, Michael Patrick – Not Voting

Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee

ALP  10/6/2016  –  r/favorably  –  Yes {5}  No {1}  Not Voting {1}  Abstains {2}  –  Roll Call

  Benson, Daniel R. (C) – Yes Danielsen, Joe (V) – Abstain Barclay, Arthur – Yes
  Carroll, Michael Patrick – No Chaparro, Annette – Yes Peterson, Erik – Abstain
  Pinkin, Nancy J. – Yes Rible, David P. – Not Voting

Sumter, Shavonda E. – Yes




From Governor signs bill January 9, 2017

Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed a popular proposal into law that limits access to firearms for people under restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence offenses. The governor approved it seven months after the Democratic-controlled Legislature threatened to override his May veto of a similar bill that had broad bipartisan support. The bill (S2483) prohibits people convicted of a domestic violence crime or subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm. It requires anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime to sell or surrender their firearms.

“Survivors of domestic violence will be safer than ever before,” Christie said in a statement.