The bill (A-3330) directs the attorney general to create a central repository of information regarding all firearms that were seized, forfeited, found or otherwise attained by law enforcement and believed to have been used in a crime. The purpose of the program is to identify the origins of firearms used to commission crimes in New Jersey.
“With this legislation, we will be better able to determine the source of each weapon associated with criminal activity,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Once we know where the guns are coming from, we will be in a position to stem the flow of dangerous weapons flooding our communities.”
“Our state already has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “But those laws can only go so far when it’s so easy to legally buy a gun somewhere else and then commit a violent crime in New Jersey. This bill will enable us to pinpoint the epicenters of the problem and reduce gun violence on our streets.”
“It’s clear that gun violence is an interstate problem,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “This bill is a crucial element in our collective effort to ensure safety in our communities and tackle the violent crime that plagues our state and this nation.”
The measure would require law enforcement agencies to complete a form upon receiving a weapon denoting details including, but not limited to, the weapon’s make, model and serial number and the crime thought to be associated with the firearm. The bill also requires that statistical data regarding firearm recovery, to be collected by the Division of State Police, be included in the annual New Jersey Uniform Crime Report.
The criminal firearms clearinghouse described in the bill mirrors one already in place in the Commonwealth of Virginia.