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New Jersey: Assembly Committee to Consider Ammo Ban & More

Friday, January 27, 2012

Contact members of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Today!

On Monday, January 30, the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider Assembly Bill 588 and Assembly Bill 1013.  The hearing will be held at 2:00 p.m. in Committee Room 16, 4th Floor, State House Annex in Trenton.

Sponsored by Assemblyman L. Grace Spencer (D-29), A588 is cleverly disguised as police safety legislation aimed at armor piercing ammunition (which is already prohibited under federal and state law).  The measure actually opens the door to a sweeping ammunition ban by an unelected public official by executive fiat. Common hunting, target, and self-defense ammunition would be subject to ban, along with BB's, airgun pellets, and non-metallic ammunition like plastic airsoft pellets, if the Attorney General decides that they pose a threat to the safety and well being of law enforcement.

Although the bill only mentions handgun ammunition, it is in fact not limited to handgun ammunition, and would apply to all rifle ammunition for which a handgun is ever made. As an increasing number of gun manufacturers make handgun models that shoot rifle caliber ammunition, the line between "handgun” vs. "rifle” ammunition has become blurred, and the New Jersey State Police have already begun treating rifle ammunition in this category as if it were handgun ammunition for regulatory purposes. As long as a handgun exists that shoots a particular caliber of rifle ammunition, New Jersey treats that ammunition as if it were handgun ammunition.

The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is also scheduled to consider A1013 which is sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31).  A1013 would criminalize the use of a defaced or stolen firearm that is used to injure a police officer and enhances penalties for defacing a firearm.  One provision of this police safety legislation significantly increases the penalties relating to "defaced” firearms. Because of New Jersey's longstanding poorly crafted definition of "defaced” firearms, it is possible that refinishing a firearm, or long-term damage from rust or scratches from ordinary wear and tear, could be deemed "defacement” subjecting honest gun owners to lengthy prison sentences, even though identifying information on the firearm is still legible.

Please contact members of the Assembly Committee on Law and Public Safety and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE both A588 and A1013.  Members can be contacted by calling (609) 292-5135.  You can also find district office phone numbers and e-mail addresses below.

Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee:

Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), Chairman

Assemblyman Gilbert L. Wilson (D-5), Vice Chairman

Assemblyman Nelson T. Albano (D-1)

Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (D-14)

Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-33) 

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-20)

Assemblyman Sean T. Kean (R-30) 

Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin (R-10)

Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23)

Assemblyman David P. Rible (R-30)

Assemblyman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15)


New Jersey New Jersey Ammunition


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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.