Will this Reduce Crime in NJ? Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Keep Guns from Serious Criminal Offenders

guns tlsAssembly Democrats Tim Eustace and Shavonda Sumter (both D-Bergen/Passaic) have introduced legislation to prohibit individuals convicted of carjacking, gang criminality, racketeering and terroristic threat from purchasing or owning a firearm in New Jersey.

“Guns are fatal when in the wrong hands,” said Eustace. “This bill can help keep guns away from individuals who have shown a clear disregard for their fellow man and the law.”

“These are violent offenses perpetuated by dangerous individuals,” said Sumter. “A person who has committed any of the crimes specified in this bill has forfeited his or her right to own a gun.”

The bill (A-4182) would add carjacking, gang criminality, racketeering and terroristic threat convictions to the list of crimes that under current law would prohibit an individual from purchasing or owning a gun in the state. Current law disqualifies a person who has been convicted of certain serious crimes from purchasing or owning firearms. These crimes include: aggravated assault; arson; burglary; escape; extortion; homicide; kidnapping; robbery; aggravated sexual assault; sexual assault; bias intimidation; endangering the welfare of a child; stalking; a crime involving domestic violence; certain crimes related to unlawful possession of weapons; and certain crimes related to controlled dangerous substances. Under this law, a person who has been convicted of any of these offenses and who possesses or owns a firearm is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Second degree crimes are punishable by a fine of up to $150,000, a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years, or both.

Under the bill, an individual who purchases or owns a firearm, who has been convicted of any of the crimes specified in the bill, would also be guilty of a crime of the second degree.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.


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  1. Ownership is a constitutional right, not subject to legislative fiat. While on the surface this bill may seem reasonable and in the interest of public safety, the underlying principal is a dangerous one. If you play around with this right, what’s to stop states from denying the constitutional rights to life, liberty, travel, assembly, etc? Not to mention the fact that in cases of divorce many domestic violence or endangering the welfare of a child cases are completely contrived in order to influence the terms of the divorce. I am strongly against this bill, and any bill which would erode rights established by the Constitution.

  2. Moishe u r crazy! These ppl r criminals. R u gonna stop them from locking ppl up cause they have a constitutional right to freedom and that may end up taking away religious freedom?!?

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