On Monday, June 1, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee will hear a number of bills, including Assembly Bill 4218, sponsored by Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera. While this legislation may be well-intended, it is fraught with problems that could potentially ensnare law-abiding gun owners like we have repeatedly witnessed in New Jersey.
When it comes to something as serious as denying someone their fundamental, constitutional rights, due process under the law is absolutely necessary. The Second Amendment right to Keep and Bear Arms should not be treated as if it is a privilege that can just be taken away following accusations that haven’t yet been proven through an adjudication. There should also be a clear process for the restoration of rights.
Far from protecting the civil liberties of New Jersey citizens, A.4218, as written, contains several troubling provisions. The bill requires a deeply flawed surrender order within 24-hours, even when dealers may be closed and unable to accept the guns. The bill also has penalties for failing to surrender firearms which may have been reported stolen or sold years ago. A.4218 allows law enforcement to charge unspecified “fees” to store seized firearms, even when a person has been vindicated. In addition, the bill doesn’t contain penalties for falsely accusing someone of domestic violence.
Finally, this legislation is unnecessary because federal law already classifies convicted domestic abusers as “prohibited persons,” and even includes certain misdemeanor convictions. The NICS database also blocks those under protection orders from purchasing a firearm.
Because this bill is unnecessary, lacks adequate due process and is laced with pitfalls for law-abiding citizens, please immediately contact members of the committee and respectfully ask them to oppose Assembly Bill 4218.
Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee:
Charles Mainor (Chair) (D31)
Gilbert L. Wilson (Vice-Chair)
Nancy J. Pinkin (D18)
Shavonda E. Sumter (D35)
Joe Danielsen (D17)
David P. Rible (R30)
Gregory P. McGuckin (R10)
Erik Peterson (R23)