Or Click Here: ANJRPC.ORG/AMAZON
Thursday May 28, 2015: The New Jersey Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider A4218, revising the state’s domestic violence laws, on Monday, June 1 at 1:30 p.m.
ANJRPC strongly condemns anyone who commits violent aggressive acts against a domestic partner, and believes that such a person should not have access to firearms, and should be punished as severely as possible. Federal law currently provides for this, and New Jersey’s existing domestic violence law is already one of the toughest in the country.
On the surface, A4218 seems well-intentioned. But instead of focusing on increasing the severity of punishment for those who commit actual violent acts, the legislation seems obsessed with harassing and intimidating anyone who owns firearms and is also accused of domestic violence, even where no actual violence has occurred – which is often the case under existing New Jersey law.
Among other things, A4218:
- Allows for forfeiture and destruction of firearms without a due process forfeiture hearing and without compensation, even where the firearms are unrelated to the act complained of, in violation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
- Criminalizes the failure to surrender a registered firearm even if that firearm has previously been sold or stolen!
- Compels gun owners to waive their Fifth Amendment rights (against self-incrimination) under threat of criminal penalty, within a 48-hour time frame.
- Mandates the surrender of firearms within an absurd 24-hour time frame, even during weekends and holidays when dealers are closed and cannot accept them.
- Allows law enforcement to charge unspecified “fees” for the storage of seized firearms, even where a person is cleared of charges, creating de facto forfeiture without due process when the fees cannot be paid!
- Fails to punish those who make false domestic violence allegations to gain tactical advantage in divorce cases, or out of spite, and fails to provide relief or a rights restoration process for those victimized by false allegations.
It comes as a surprise to many that under current New Jersey law, the grounds for a "domestic violence act" may be as minor as a verbal argument that purposely causes annoyance (harassment). A verbal argument with no violent act whatsoever can and frequently does result in seizure and forfeiture of firearms, and permanent loss of gun rights. There is even one infamous case where throwing pretzels resulted in a domestic violence claim.
Other similar types of non-violent acts that constitute "domestic violence" and can result in firearms forfeiture include staying in the home despite being asked to leave by a spouse who holds title to the home (criminal trespass); and scaring a spouse with a halloween mask (putting another in fear by physical menace). There are several others, and they arise on a regular basis in the Garden State.
Unfortunately A4218, which appears to be part of a larger national agenda, fails to recognize that New Jersey law is unique in allowing minor non-violent acts to be classified as "domestic violence." It also fails to recognize that false allegations of domestic violence are sometimes made to gain advantage in divorce cases, or out of spite, without any consequence to the accuser.
Instead of recognizing the distinction between violent and non-violent actors, A4218 subjects those accused in non-violent situations to the exact same penalties and procedures facing violent offenders, simply because they happen to be gun owners. As is typical of many gun control schemes in the Garden State, A4218 appears obsessed with the harassment and intimidation of all gun owners, instead of focusing punishment where it belongs - on violent offenders. A4218 is therefore off target and makes no one safer.
See ANJRPC's full position paper on A4218.
Please immediately tell members of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee to oppose A4218 as written and instead support proposals that severely punish those who commit violent acts, and that hold accountable anyone who makes of false allegations of domestic violence.
Members of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee:
Charles Mainor (Chair) (D31)
Gilbert L. Wilson (Vice Chair) (D5)
Nancy J. Pinkin (D18)
Shavonda E. Sumter (D35)
Joe Danielsen (D17)
David P. Rible (R30)
Gregory P. McGuckin (R10)
Erik Peterson (R23)
Thursday May 14, 2015: In a published decision affecting all New Jersey municipalities, the New Jersey Appellate Division today confirmed that New Jersey permitting authorities may NOT require completion of additional forms for firearms permit applications beyond the forms mandated by state law.
"This decision represents a major breakthrough that will facilitate the mission of ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ ," said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. "For the first time, a New Jersey Appellate Court has published a decision confirming that local permitting authorities may not impose additional forms as a condition of issuing firearms permits and licenses. The Evan F. Nappen Law Firm is to be commended on bringing this case and obtaining this extremely significant decision."
The number one complaint ANJRPC receives from law-abiding gun owners relates to local permitting forms and requirements invented by municipalities, beyond what is clearly specified under state law, often resulting in improper delays and denials. The mission of ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ is to address these problems in each and every one of New Jerseys 565 municipalities. Today's decision will make it much easier to either obtain voluntary compliance from these towns, or to employ litigation against those that refuse.
The case was brought by the law firm of Evan F. Nappen, and was briefed and argued by Louis Nappen. See the Nappen Firm's press release for additional details.
Towns That Won't See the Light
Are Going to Feel the Heat!
ANJRPC has launched Phase 2 - the Crackdown Phase - of its Permitting StrikeForce™ program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to address firearms permitting abuses throughout the Garden State. The program is aimed at ending, once and for all, the extensive delays, unauthorized conditions, and other widespread abuses plaguing the issuance of firearms ID cards and handgun purchase permits to law-abiding citizens throughout New Jersey.
In StrikeForce™ Phase 1, launched last year, we did a sweep of the entire state to create a comprehensive database chronicling and detailing the specific permitting abuses occurring throughout New Jersey's 565 municipalities and other permitting authorities. Hundreds of gun owners participated in Phase 1, providing us with evidence of their towns' abuses.
Our attorneys conducted their own independent statewide survey, and all of the data has been crunched, organized, and analyzed. For the first time in history, we now have the full picture of where and what the problems are, and it isn't pretty. From absurdly long delays, to blatantly unlawful application conditions, to outrageous privacy violations, we have identified the worst offenders.
"Phase 2 of the StrikeForce program is the start of the crackdown phase," said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. "We are serving legal notices on nearly 150 municipalities, informing them of the law, their obligations, and their specific violations in no uncertain terms. We expect that many towns will comply voluntarily once the clear and indisputable law has been explained to them, but the towns that won't see the light are going to feel the heat," said Bach.
During Phase 2, ANJRPC's counsel will be working to achieve voluntary compliance in as many towns as possible, as rapidly as possible. For those permitting authorities that simply refuse to comply, ANJRPC will embark on Phase 3 - the "hammer" phase, in which ANJRPC will deploy a number of the most powerful tools at its disposal, including litigation, to force compliance with the law.
"Permitting authorities need to understand that we have entered a new era after the groundbreaking U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the Heller and McDonald cases," said Bach. "It is unlawful to interfere with Second Amendment rights by abusing the permitting process, and ANJRPC will spare no effort or expense to stop further abuse."
Many towns impose outrageous, unauthorized conditions on issuance of purchase permits, such as employer notification, spousal consent, disclosure of all household member names, and passing a written exam. Many municipalities also ignore state law requiring application decisions within 30 days; some applicants wait over a year before getting a decision. Some towns also ration handgun purchase permits at the rate of one per month, under the mistaken belief that New Jersey's "one gun a month" law applies to issuance of permits themselves.
ANJRPC first began addressing permitting issues on a case-by-case basis in 2009. Recent legal developments made it viable to launch ANJRPC'S Permitting StrikeForce™ last year as the first-ever comprehensive compliance sweep over the entire state. The program is synergistic and complementary with the efforts of other organizations on permitting issues.
ANJRPC's Permitting StrikeForce™ needs YOU! Although we have now moved into Phase 2, we still need to know about permitting abuses you may be suffering, as well as improvements in the permitting process that result from StrikeForce efforts. Please tell us about unauthorized conditions, delays, permit rationing, or any other violations, or improvements, in your town. Your identity will be protected, but your input will help us get the job done! Please email email@example.com or leave a message at (973) 697-9270. Please include as much detail as possible.
THE NJ ATTORNEY GENERAL
FINDS SMART GUN LAW
The New Jersey Attorney General has issued a legally-mandated report to the Governor and the Legislature finding that the Armatix iP1 handgun does not qualify as a “smart gun” under New Jersey’s 2002 smart gun law.
The report includes the following statement:
After careful consideration of the iP1's design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).
Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns).
The report was likely issued in connection with pending litigation in which the Brady Center has tried to force the Attorney General to issue a report that would trigger New Jersey’s smart gun law by finding that the Armatix gun satisfied the law.
“New Jersey’s smart-gun law is a dumb as it gets,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach. “It forces you to use an unproven technology to defend your life, and then exempts the state from liability when the gun goes ‘click’ instead of ‘bang’. If it’s such a great idea, then law enforcement shouldn’t be exempt, and the free market should be able to determine its viability. This is a welcome finding by the Attorney General.”
Read the Attorney General’s report here.
GOVERNOR CHRISTIE VETOES
GUN BAN / MAG BAN!
July 2, 2014: Governor Christie vetoed A2006 / S993, legislation that would have banned
firearms magazines larger than 10 rounds and would have banned an entire class of
popular .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles. The veto marks the end of the road for this
legislation for the 2014-2015 session.
"After months of intense battle over this misguided legislation that won't stop another
crime or prevent another tragedy, we are grateful that Governor Christie has heard the
voice of the outdoor community and ended the discussion," said ANJRPC Executive
Director Scott Bach. "The Governor clearly recognizes the difference between legislation
that punishes violent criminals vs. legislation that targets the rights of law-abiding
PLEASE THANK GOVERNOR CHRISTIE TODAY!
Please thank Governor Christie today for his veto of A2006 / S993. You can call the
Governor's office at 609-292-6000, write him at P.O. Box 001, Trenton, N.J. 08625, or
send an email using the online contact form (select "law and public safety" from the
drop down menu, then pick any sub-topic).And thank YOU for weathering this
months-long storm of attacks on gun owners along with us. It is because of YOUR actions, YOUR calls and letters, YOUR attendance at hearings, and YOUR refusal to give up no matter what the odds, that today's outcome was possible.
Although today's action marks the end of a long and very arduous battle, the fight is far
from over. Lawmakers will be back after the November elections, and will continue their
relentless attacks on legal gun ownership - and it will be up to gun owners to continue to
Please watch for future alerts and updates!
Donations can be sent to:
Scott Bach, PO Box 651, Newfoundland, NJ 07435
Join ANJRPC Online Here! Donate to ANJRPC Online Here!