New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- The 220th legislative session in New Jersey started on January 11th, 2022. With a solid bit of luck, some hard work of gun owners staying on top of the legislators, and groups like the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, National Rifle Association, and Firearms Policy Coalition keeping everyone informed, Phil Murphy’s anti-gun package fell flat. We kicked Steve Sweeney, former Senator and former Senate President to the curb. Thank you Senator Ed Durr, “toot toot”! The citizens of the Garden State now have a small window to take a breather.
Democrat Governor Phil Murphy was an abysmal failure in rallying his party to get the support needed to ramrod civil rights destroying legislation down our throats, which would cause us to gag up whatever liberties we have left, but we must stay on our toes! We must remain vigilant!
Citizens of New Jersey, this is a Governor that has no regard for the Constitution or civil liberties! The wrath we’re going to feel if (which looks good for us) we receive a favorable decision in NYSRPA is going to be like that from the Old Testament. We must brace for impact if The Murph and his ilk are forced to recognize the peasants’ God-given right to be armed.
There were several bills that have already been filed for this legislative session. Some good and others are less than savory. As of January 12th, 2022, the following pieces of legislation were filed:
Bill A108: Requires access to law enforcement guidelines for processing firearms permit applications upon public records request. Filed by Space, Parker/Webber, Jay/Wirths, Harold J. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill would clarify that written guidelines, standard operating procedures, and practices used by law enforcement agencies in the investigation, review, and disposition of firearms-related permit applications are to be available to the public under the State’s open public records statute. Currently, that law does not specifically address public accessibility to these documents.
In a recent decision of the Superior Court, Law Division, currently on appeal, the court held that the New Jersey State Police Firearms Investigation Guidebook is exempt from public access because it is a standard operating procedure, a category of records that is confidential under an administrative regulation, which was made effective in its proposed form by executive order, but is now formally adopted. The public release of these records can shed light on whether firearms permitting laws are enforced uniformly across the State and in accordance with the law. This bill would clarify that such guidelines are public records and would help ensure that the firearms permitting process, which regulates the exercise of the constitutional right to bear arms, is being implemented in accordance with all legal requirements.
Bill A112: Authorizes chiefs of part-time municipal police forces to issue firearms ID cards and handgun purchase permits. Filed by Space, Parker/Webber, Jay on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill would authorize the chief of police of a part-time municipal police department or force to issue firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun.
Under current law, only the chiefs of full-time police departments or forces are authorized to issue these firearms cards and permits.
Authorizing these chiefs to issue firearms cards and permits would relieve the State Police from processing these applications and facilitate their issuance in a more timely fashion.
Bill A140: Eliminates prohibition against purchasing more than one handgun in calendar month. Filed by Wirths, Harold J./Space, Parker on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill would amend the law that restricts the number of handguns that a person may purchase or a dealer may sell within any 30-day period. The bill would allow the purchase of handguns by law-abiding individuals without any restrictions on the number of handguns purchased.
Bill A604: Disqualifies person named on federal Terrorist Watchlist from obtaining firearms identification card or permit to purchase handgun. Filed by Kean, Sean T. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.
This bill disqualifies a person named on the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Center from being issued either a firearm’s identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun.
Under the bill, the chief of police or the Superintendent of State Police is required to inform an applicant when he or she is denied an identification card or permit based on being named on the Terrorist Watchlist. An applicant who challenges such a denial in Superior Court is authorized to present evidence during the hearing that the person is not the same person named on the Terrorist Watchlist. The chief of police or superintendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant is the same person named on the Terrorist Watchlist.
Under current law, the issuance of a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun may be denied to any person if it “would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare.” While this provision should provide grounds for denying a person named on the Terrorist Watchlist from being issued either a firearms identification card or a permit to purchase a handgun, the inclusion of a person on the Terrorist Watchlist is of such a serious and potentially threatening nature that it warrants a separate statutory provision denying that person’s capability to lawfully obtain a firearm in this State.
Bill A855: Permits certain special law enforcement officers to carry firearms at all times when in State. Filed by Tucker, Cleopatra G. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill would permit certain Class Two special law enforcement officers to carry a firearm at all times while in the State.
With one exception, all Class Two special law enforcement officers are required to turn in their firearms to the officer in charge of their station at the end of each workday when they go off duty.
The one exception applies to Class Two special law enforcement officers who are appointed by the governing body of a municipality having a population in excess of 300,000, according to the 1980 Federal decennial census, and who are residents of that municipality. Current law permits those officers to carry their firearm when they are off duty within that municipality, provided they have successfully completed all the statutorily required training courses.
This bill would authorize all Class Two special law enforcement officers appointed by that municipality who have successfully competed the statutorily required training programs to carry their firearms at all times when in the State.
Bill A905: Clarifies that chief of police or Superintendent of State Police has burden of proving applicant’s disqualification for permit to purchase handgun or firearms purchaser identification card. Filed by Peterson, Erik/Webber, Jay/Thomson, Edward H. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill clarifies that the chief of police or the Superintendent of State Police has the burden of proving an applicant’s disqualification for a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card.
Under current law, the issuance of a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card may be denied if the applicant is subject to certain disabilities that prohibit him or her from obtaining a permit or identification card.
The provisions of this bill provide that if an application for a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card is denied, the chief of police in the municipality where the applicant resides or the superintendent, as appropriate, has the burden of proving that the applicant is subject to a disability which would disqualify the applicant from being issued a permit or identification card under current law.
In addition, under the provisions of this bill, within ten days of the denial of an application, the chief of police or the superintendent, as appropriate, is required to provide the applicant with a written statement specifying the reason and any proof relied upon for the denial of the application.
Bill A952: Clarifies that BB guns are not firearms under New Jersey law. Filed by DiMaio, John on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill revises the definition of “firearm” to clarify that BB guns are not firearms and, therefore, are not subject to New Jersey’s strict firearms licensing and permitting statutes.
Bill A1334: Revises certain laws concerning domestic violence and firearms. Filed by Mosquera, Gabriela M./Greenwald, Louis D./Benson, Daniel R. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill enhances protections currently afforded victims of domestic violence by requiring attackers to surrender their firearms while domestic violence restraining orders are in effect or when they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense. The bill also requires firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase handguns to be revoked if the holder of the card or permit is convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense. The bill further requires cross-referencing of records to assist in determining whether the alleged attacker owns a firearm and in removing those firearms.
Bill S106: Increases criminal penalties if leaving loaded firearm within easy access of minor results in injury or death. Filed by Holzapfel, James W./Bucco, Anthony M. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill increases the penalties for allowing a minor to gain access to a loaded firearm when such a violation results in bodily injury or death.
Under current law, a person who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to a loaded firearm at a premises under the person’s control is required to store the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure, or to secure the firearm with a trigger lock. A person who fails to follow these precautions is guilty of a disorderly person’s offense if a minor gains access to the loaded firearm.
This bill upgrades this offense to a crime of the fourth degree if a violation of the current law results in bodily injury, and a crime of the third degree if a violation results in serious bodily injury or death. A disorderly person’s offense is punishable by up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both; a crime of the third degree is punishable by three to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
Current law defines “bodily injury” as physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
In addition, under current law, a person is not guilty of the offense of allowing a minor to obtain a loaded firearm under circumstances where: 1) a minor uses a firearm for activities authorized by current law; or 2) a minor obtained a firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person. This bill clarifies that a person also is not guilty of the offense of allowing a minor to obtain a loaded firearm under circumstances where a minor obtained the firearm for the purpose of self-protection, as permitted under current law.
Bill S444: Provides for forfeiture of vehicle where weapon was unlawfully possessed. Filed by Sacco, Nicholas J. on 1/11/2022. Introduced And Referred To Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
This bill amends the State’s forfeiture law to authorize the forfeiture of a motor vehicle if a weapon is unlawfully possessed in that vehicle.
Current law prohibits possession of machine guns, handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault weapons without a license. Under the bill, illegal possession of these guns in a motor vehicle subjects that motor vehicle to forfeiture.
The purpose of the bill is to protect the public safety by aggressively fighting the illegal possession and transportation of unlawfully possessed firearms.
It is the sponsor’s understanding that the forfeiture of a motor vehicle seized under this bill would be subject to the provisions regarding the rights of an innocent owner as set forth in N.J.S.2C:64-5.
Looking over this list of legislation, it’s not that bad. There are two bills that really stick out to me. Those being: Bill A604: Disqualifies person named on federal Terrorist Watchlist from obtaining firearms identification card or permit to purchase handgun. and Bill S444: Provides for forfeiture of vehicle where weapon was unlawfully possessed.
A604 which would disqualify those on the “Terrorist Watchlist” form being able to own a firearm is a problem. Among the many issues surrounding such a condition, there are no due process rights to those that may or may not end up on said lists. There’s no way to know if you’re on the list. And, good luck trying to get yourself removed from any such lists should you be on them by mistake. Further, this could be weaponized against gun owners that the state finds to be unsavory. A604 is riddled with all kinds of problems, and has unconstitutional written all over its cover page.
S444 which would lead to the forfeiture of one’s vehicle should they be found in illegal possession of a firearm is ridiculous. The possession laws in New Jersey are already unconstitutional, so this fun little modifier is just further insult-to-injury. The mere possession of a gun should not, under the present circumstances as outlined by New Jersey statute, be a crime. Period. Modify that possession situation with “in the commission of a crime” or “by a disqualified person”, then we can have a conversation about whether or not the bearing of that arm should be deemed illegal. As the law is right now, we’re to believe it’d be okay to take a person’s car from them if they’re caught too far from their path home from the range during what another individual perceives to be an unnecessary deviation?
What should also raise some eyebrows is Bill A1334: Revises certain laws concerning domestic violence and firearms. The proposed legislation, like any law involving a he said/she said situation, can be weaponized against those it’s being levied against. There’s a fine line between protecting victims and the usurpation of rights when dealing with such laws. I’d be interested in hearing a full run down on this bill by an attorney versed in this subject.
S106: Increases criminal penalties if leaving loaded firearm within easy access of minor results in injury or death. is seemingly harmless to the law abiding and responsible gun owner. There is language added to the existing law offering further protections to minors that use a firearm they access for self-defense, which is good. However, the intricacies of what lengths a minor may or may not go to if they wish to unlawfully gain access and use a firearm could be to lengths greater than many might imagine, and someone that’s a responsible gun owner could still get tangled in some legal hot water in such events. I would have much rater seen Senators Bucco and Holzapfel focus simply on the clarification of the self-defense provision of the law, or perhaps tackling the dismantling of one of the many unconstitutional laws already on the books.
Assemblymen Parker Space, Jay Webber, and Harold Wirths did step up to the plate and swing in many instances with the filing of some of these bills. These members of the Assembly, as well as others, have introduced some bills which would deconstruct some of the bad laws we have in the Garden State. Kudos! to all the legislators that are filing measures to realign New Jersey’s law with the Constitution. As for Parker Space, if you all have some time, do visit his family’s property, Space Farms Zoo and Museum if you’re looking for a nice outing with the family! We must support those that support us (You can spend the day there without really seeing everything and be sure to stick around for the feeding of the tigers)!
As for the onslaught of dirty nasty bills that The Murph failed to have the votes for, we must assume they’ll be returning for another encore presentation, and we have to be on our toes as the days advance. Here at AmmoLand News we’ll keep an eye on these measures and any others that may pop up as the session goes on. In the meantime, have you donated to or joined the organizations in or in support of New Jersey that are doing the heavy lifting? Be sure to visit:
- Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs
- Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners – Home (cnjfo.com)
- Second Amendment Foundation (saf.org)
- New Jersey Second Amendment Society | NJ2AS
- National Rifle Association
- Firearms Policy Coalition
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .
CITIZENS OF ‘ NEW JERSY’- IF YOU WISH TO KEEP AND USE YOUR “CONSTITUTIONAL – RIGHTS” YOU BETTER “UNITE ” AND START ‘PROTESTING ‘ FOR IT ! THATS THE ONLY WAY TO BEAT THESE COMMIES IN OFFICE!
I dunno … NJ has a long history of voting democrat. How can you change that?
we need an ag that will arrest all these pos jerks and the leos that follow them
Yes, that is true, but we must suffer through three more years of the Harris-Biden administration.
Don’t count on that. Xi-den is sinking fast, he’s rapidly approaching end stage dementia, THAT is putting the Dims into a total panic, they know that Heelsup is worthless, of course that describes 90% of his administration. Next up to bat is Pelosi, now if that doesn’t give you shivers of fear I’m not sure what will. Now move to the Midterms, who can be the next Speaker if/when the House flips. Yep, possibly McCarthy, he’s probably a RINO but even then way better than the current alternative. So, we win the house the admin implodes and boom we have… Read more »
Speaker McCarthy will talk a good game & do nothing to pass a true conservative agenda, as did his bosses Ryan & Boehner – so we lose or tread water when in the majority & lose big when in the minority. If, after taking House-Senate-Pres, real conservatives don’t bounce McCarthy & McConnell as leaders, the game will continue: Placate the base until the next disaster.
When RINOs win primaries, we lose.
Very dismal, but I can not disagree. Maybe Trump should run for House of Reps! Trump may not be a standout for the Second Amendment, but he’d get the border, the economy, crime, and the supply chain under control.
He looks like a RABID CHIPMUNK !
You are welcome and will contact you. .
Mr.Petrolino, A very well written article and read your articles here. Murphy is an avowed progressive and won’t give up on gun control. Believe he has mor gun control laws he will sign in the futire. The progun side in NJ is never allowed to be included when gun control is discussed, just the anti’s and the pols that support gun control. Murphy has a 24/7/365 armed detail. The pressure needs to be on him and the senators/Assemblymen/women in all districts. We have some on our side and thank them for supporting us and knowing what is right from wrong.… Read more »
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