“Defaced” gun bill has potential to ensnare law-abiding gun owners
Tomorrow, February 6 at 2:00 p.m., the New Jersey Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider Assembly Bill 823. Sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), A.823 is police safety legislation that includes a number of items. However, A. 823 also contains a provision that increases penalties related to “defaced” firearms.
Due to New Jersey’s ambiguous and broad definition of “defaced” firearms, it is possible that honest citizens could be unintentionally caught by A.823, facing lengthy prison sentences. Even though identifying information on the firearm is still legible, simply refinishing a firearm, normal wear and tear, scratches and/or rust could all be deemed as “defacement.” If considered as such, refinishing a firearm, or possessing a damaged firearm, could result in a ten-year jail sentence, and buying or selling a refinished, rusted or scratched firearm could result in a five-year jail sentence.
In 2012, these same concerns were raised by the NRA when an earlier version of this legislation was considered by the same committee. These concerns were acknowledged at the time and amendments were promised but never implemented. This newly introduced version continues to not address the concerns of lawful gun owners. A.823 could easily be amended to address these concerns without compromising its crime prevention purpose.
Please contact members of the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee. Respectfully ask them to amend A.823 to protect legal gun owners from severe unintended consequences.
Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee:
AssemblymanCharles Mainor (D-31), Chairman
AssemblymanGilbert L. Wilson (D-5), Vice-Chairman
AssemblymanJoseph Cryan (D-20)
AssemblymanGregory P. McGuckin (R-10)
AssemblymanErik Peterson (R-23)
Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin (D-18)
AssemblymanDavid P. Rible (R-30)
Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter (D-35)