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Penalty Increase Bill Heads to Senate Floor in New Jersey!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Please Contact Your State Senator Today! 

Yesterday, Thursday, March 6, the New Jersey Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed Senate No. 1304, sponsored by State Senator John Girgenti (D-35), by a 3 to 1 margin. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for a possible vote, but in response to concerns raised by gun owners, the Committee Chairman and several State Senators pledged to engage in further dialogue to protect law-abiding gun owners from wrongful prosecution under the bill. 

This bill, among other things, would raise the possession of "assault firearms" from a third-degree crime to a second-degree crime, which carries a potential 10-year prison sentence and $150,000 fine. S1304 is an ill-conceived attempt to address gang violence.  The bill is likely to have severe unintended consequences against the Garden State’s law-abiding gun owners, such as posing a risk of lengthy incarceration to otherwise law-abiding gun owners who were turned into criminals overnight in 1990 by New Jersey's vague and confusing “assault firearms” ban.

The lone vote against S1304 came from the courageous State Senator Anthony Bucco (R-25). Please thank Senator Bucco by email at SenBucco@njleg.org or by phone at (973) 627-9700. Those voting in support of the bill were State Senators John Girgenti (D-35), Nicholas Sacco (D-32), and Christopher Connors (R-9). However, Stae Senator Girgenti pledged to engage in further dialogue to resolve the concerns of honest gun owners, and State Senator Connors voiced strong concerns about the bill and reserved the right to oppose it when it reaches the Senate floor if gun owner objections are not resolved by that time. State Senator Brian Stack (D-33) was not present.

Please contact your State Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose or amend S1304.  To contact your State Senator please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.