Yesterday, February 6, Assembly Bill 823 was heard by the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. Sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), A.823 was introduced with a provision that would increase penalties related to “defaced” firearms. This provision could have potentially punished law-abiding gun owners with jail time due to New Jersey’s ambiguous and broad definition of “defaced” firearms.
However, thanks to your calls and e-mails to committee members, A.823 was unanimously amended to fix the state’s longstanding problem of defining “defaced” firearms. The ambiguous and sweeping definition in state statute would be changed under the bill to protect law-abiding gun owners from being ensnared and imprisoned for firearms that are rusted, refinished, or damaged through ordinary wear and tear. While the amended language of Assembly Bill 823 is not yet available, New Jersey members can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their damaged, worn or refinished firearms won’t land them in jail.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated when more information is available.