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Bill Analysis For Wed. Hearing
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In anticipation of Wednesday’s scheduled hearing in Trenton before the Assembly Judiciary Committee, below is our more detailed analysis of the anti-gun legislation scheduled to be heard.  Please plan on attending the hearing in person, and please keep contacting members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and tell them to vote no on these misguided proposals. Click here to contact the members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.  We will have a follow-up email on Tuesday with additional information about the hearing.


A2671  Magazine Ban / Gun Ban.  Bans ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (except tubular .22 magazines); also bans certain firearms. 

Analysis: This bill is an attack on gun owners and sportsmen, and is also a gun ban, despite changes made in response to gun owner outrage to similar legislation in 2014.  It still bans semi-automatic firearms with fixed magazines over 10 rounds (other than .22’s), and even contains provisions for the surrender of such firearms.  The bill provides no grandfathering, and no option for permanently blocking non-compliant magazines (as currently exists) – the only options are to surrender, transfer, or render inoperable within 180 days of the effective date of the legislation, under threat of up to 18 months in jail per magazine, and loss of all gun rights throughout the U.S. The legislation would take effect upon signing.

Impact:  Would make no one safer; would be ignored by criminals; would be followed only by the law-abiding; would put law-abiding at a disadvantage when attacked; would have no effect on mass attacks (magazines can be changed rapidly, 10-round magazines have been used in previous mass attacks).  Only impact is on law-abiding gun owners, who are not part of the problem, and who may need more readily available ammunition capacity to defend against home invasion, etc.


The End of Due Process

A1217  No-Notice Suspension of Gun RightsAuthorizes firearms restraining orders and gun seizure warrants to be issued in secret, with no advance notice or opportunity to be heard, with no finding of imminent danger, based on flimsy evidence provided by “any person,” without consequence for fabricated allegations.

Analysis: A truly Orwellian scheme, this bill would allow any person to go to court in secret and seek to have someone else’s guns seized and gun rights suspended, with no advance notice or opportunity to be heard, and no requirement of a finding of imminent danger. 

The court could base its decision on a number of questionable factors, including “recent acquisition of firearms,” and arrests (not convictions) for minor offenses (a traffic ticket could be deemed an “offense”).  The court could then suspend gun rights if it were satisfied of the existence of the grounds in the application, or of mere probable cause to believe that they exist.  The court would also be mandated to order guns seized if there were probable cause to believe that the person possesses or owns firearms. 

No due process would be afforded to the affected gun owner until a post-seizure hearing within 14 days.  The gun owner would not even be aware that there was a proceeding against him or her until law enforcement show up at their door to seize firearms.  And because there is no punishment specified in the legislation for filing false statements against the gun owner by those seeking the restraining order, the bill is an open invitation to harass and abuse gun owners with no consequence.

This legislation represents gestapo tactics and no-notice suspension of Constitutional rights, without proof of an imminent danger.  It is overkill in the extreme.  Click here for additional analysis by gun rights attorney and ANJRPC Legal Affairs Chairman Evan Nappen, Esq. The legislation would take effect the seventh month after enactment,

Impact:  Creates unnecessary, redundant bureaucracy that could slow or interfere with law enforcement “community caretaking” public safety function, which can currently be exercised immediately by police in an emergency situation;  Shreds due process; Allows no-notice suspension of fundamental constitutional rights and seizure of property without a finding of imminent danger; allows minor offenses like traffic violations to be considered as a basis for suspension of rights; fails to punish the filing of false statements by those abusing the process to harass gun owners.


A1181  Authorizes firearms seizure and suspension of Second Amendment rights when mental health “professionals” think someone poses risk.  Allows marriage counselors, social workers and nurses to cause suspension of rights.  Allows forfeiture of firearms without compensation to owner.

Analysis: Gives unprecedented power to suspend Constitutional rights and seize firearms to unaccountable health professionals, who are defined to include nurses, social workers, and marriage counselors. Turns health professionals into spies and pressures them to err on the side of declaring someone a danger rather than face potential liability for failing to do so. Creates potential for enormous abuse by anti-gun health professionals.

Due process was added to this legislation after gun owner outcry in previous legislative sessions, but the amendments created an entirely new issue -- allowing firearms seized to subsequently be disposed of as a complete forfeiture without any chance of compensation to the owner.  Only in the case of the worst criminal misconduct is forfeiture of property authorized, and indeed, even in the domestic violence setting, seized firearms are not forfeited and there is a defined process for them to be sold by the legal owner.  Applying forfeiture provisions to persons who have sought counseling is as absurd as it is outrageous and unfair. Even as amended the legislation still allows unaccountable health professionals to violate patient confidences and threaten property rights. The legislation would take effect immediately.

Impact:  Creates unnecessary, redundant bureaucracy that could slow or interfere with law enforcement “community caretaking” public safety function, which can currently be exercised immediately by police in an emergency situation; Discourages those who need help the most from seeking it.  Gives unaccountable health professionals unprecedented authority to cause suspension of Second Amendment rights, and to use that authority to harass those with whom they may disagree.  Could result in forfeiture of property without compensation.


A1016  Smart Guns – Swaps one legislative mandate for another; creates new politically-controlled commission to approve smart guns; compels market acceptance of smart guns by forcing dealers to sell them, to pave the way for a national ban.

Analysis: While the legislation appears to roll back the ban on conventional handguns from New Jersey’s 2002 “smart gun” law, the bill is still badly tainted because it swaps in a new mandate in its place, forcing every New Jersey firearms dealer to stock and display smart guns for sale – essentially compelling market acceptance of the technology instead of letting the free market decide. It also creates a new politically controlled commission to approve a list of smart guns for sale.

The effort to coerce smart guns onto the market by bullying dealers suggests that politicians will return later with a new ban on conventional handguns once an artificial market for the new and unproven technology has been created.  Nationally, anti-gunners also want to use smart gun technology as an excuse to ban conventional handguns, but the New Jersey law revealed their end game and tainted the technology, slowing its development. Anti-gunners see the only path forward as breaking the logjam in New Jersey, forcing development and sales of the technology, and then returning with their ban. 

The legislation continues to exempt the state from liability resulting from implementation of the law, revealing a lack of confidence in the technology. The legislation would take effect the seventh month after enactment.

Impact: Dooms the potential nationwide market for the technology by continuing to inject government mandates and trying to compel market acceptance.  Makes no one safer, and may make those who rely on the technology for personal defense less safe.


A2758  Kills right to carry – codifies NJ’s unconstitutional “Justifiable Need” standard to qualify for a carry permit

Analysis:  The current meaning of “justifiable need” (evidence of previous attacks or specific threats) was never established by the legislature.  It was established by the courts and by administrative regulations.  This weakness was exposed during the recent skirmish between the legislature and former Governor Christie over Christie’s carry improvements, and it limited the legislature’s ability to defeat those improvements.  This bill aims to patch that weakness by cementing the current, unconstitutional justifiable need standard into state statute for eternity.  The legislature apparently doesn’t realize that ANJRPC’s new carry lawsuit backed by NRA, and others like it, will eventually force New Jersey to recognize the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves with a firearm outside the home, just as 43 other states do. The legislation would take effect immediately.

Impact:   Interferes with the Constitutionally protected right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves with a firearm outside the home; makes it easier for predatory violent criminals and the mentally ill to victimize citizens; ensures that the average person in New Jersey cannot qualify for a carry permit.


A2759  Armor-piercing ammunition ban – bans the SS190AP (armor piercing) military round for the FN Five-Seven handgun and similar armor-piercing rounds, which are already prohibited under federal law.

Analysis:  This legislation originated in 2012 as a sweeping ammunition ban, but has evolved to its present form based on the testimony of gun owners over the last several legislative sessions. 

As currently written, the legislation would criminalize possession of the SS190AP (armor piercing) round for the FN Five-Seven handgun – ammunition that is already banned under existing law – and similar rounds.  The bill targets rounds which have “a full metal jacket and an ogive with a steel penetrator tip followed by an aluminum core and is therefore capable of breaching or penetrating body armor.”   The bill’s statement goes out of its way to demonize the SS190AP round, but neglects to mention that it is already against federal law to manufacture armor-piercing ammunition or import it for sale to the public pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(a)(7) and (8).  The statement further neglects to indicate that armor-piercing ammunition is already banned under state law (N.J.S. 2C:39-3f), and that the round is not available to civilians.  The legislation would take effect immediately.

Impact:  The bill is redundant with existing law and the need for this legislation is non-existent.  It would neither change anything nor make anyone safer.  Banning hardware always fails to reduce gun crime, because someone bent on doing evil will not be deterred when one particular tool is unavailable.  The fact of the matter is that the criminal misuse of ANY type of ammunition should be severely punished.


A2757  Requires dealer background checks for private firearms sales – which already require a background check in New Jersey.

Analysis:  Eliminates most private sales.  Apparently, legislators do not realize that private sales of handguns in NJ require a permit (which is only issued after a background check), or that private sales of long guns require a firearms ID card (only issued after a background check), or that all private sales already involve state-mandated paperwork. The bill exempts private sales between law enforcement; and also between immediate family members.  It also attempts to exempt curio & relic FFL holders, who are virtually nonexistent in NJ (since the failure of any FFL holder to also have a state retail dealer license is a crime).  The bill would also have the effect of imposing additional fees that otherwise would not be charged.  The legislation would take effect the fourth month after enactment.

Impact:  Will be ignored by criminals, who do not submit to background checks, and who obtain their firearms unlawfully. Only impacts law-abiding citizens, who are not part of the problem to begin with. Will have zero impact on crime or public safety.

Please forward this email to every gun owner you know, and if you don’t already receive alerts from ANJRPC, please subscribe to our free email alerts for the latest Second Amendment breaking news and action alerts.

About ANJRPC: The Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs is the official New Jersey affiliate of the NRA, and is New Jersey’s oldest, largest, and most effective Second Amendment advocacy organization.

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