Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Gun Laws

New Jersey Actor Faces Jail Time over Possession of Air Pistol during Movie Shoot

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Jersey Actor Faces Jail Time over Possession of Air Pistol during Movie Shoot

If it seems as though that every couple of months there is another high-profile gun control injustice in New Jersey, that’s because there is. The latest incident occurred in Woodbridge, N.J. when a local actor unwittingly violated the Garden State’s onerous gun laws.

According to an account provided by New York City’s WPIX, actor and stand-up comedian Carlo Bellario accepted the role of a gangster in a low budget film titled, Vendetta Games. While shooting a portion of the movie in November, the filmmaker provided Bellario with an air pistol to simulate a real firearm for the scene.

Describing what happened to WPIX, Bellario said, “Our scene was a simulated car chase scene. We just drove around the neighborhood. I’m pretending I’m shooting with the recoil, with a pellet gun. I guess people in the neighborhood saw that. They call the police. We get back and we’re surrounded by cop cars!”

Under New Jersey’s gun laws, air pistols are treated as actual firearms. Section 2C:39-5 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice states:

(1) Any person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same as provided in N.J.S.2C:58-4, is guilty of a crime of the second degree. (2) If the handgun is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person it is a crime of the third degree

This means that in order to possess an air pistol in public one must obtain a rather difficult to acquire permit to carry. Neither the filmmaker nor Bellario had a permit.

According to the article, despite explaining to police officers that he was filming a scene, Bellario was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Bellario was forced to spend 4 days in Middlesex County jail before his girlfriend acquired $10,000 for bail with the help of a bondsman. With the impending legal expenses, Bellario has established a gofundme account to help pay for his defense. Unlawful possession of an air pistol is a third degree felony punishable by 3-5 years in prison.

Felony charges for the unpermitted possession of an air pistol during filming is another unconscionable result of New Jersey gun laws that are wildly out-of-step with the most of the nation. In recent years, a litany of well-meaning gun owners have been victimized by New Jersey law. In several cases mistaken residents of other states have brought a firearm to New Jersey unaware of the state’s stringent possession and carry laws.

Thankfully, these unintentional lawbreakers have made their mistakes during a gubernatorial administration that is willing to exercise some common sense. In 2010, Governor Chris Christie famously commuted the sentence of Brian Aitken, a gun owner who brought a lawfully owned gun from Colorado to New Jersey. Christie went on to pardon Philadelphia nurse and mother Shaneen Allen, who mistakenly believed her Pennsylvania carry permit was valid in the Garden State. Moreover, last September Christie pardoned three others who unknowingly violated New Jersey’s gun laws.

While the actions of the Christie administration in helping these gun owners should be applauded, the fact that these outlandish prosecutions continue to occur reveals a deeper problem that must be changed legislatively. NRA will continue to work with New Jersey’s gun owners to try to alleviate the most burdensome and nonsensical portions of the state’s gun laws. Hopefully in the future those like Bellario, and otherwise law-abiding gun owners like Aitken and Allen, will not have to rely on the decency and common sense of the executive branch to stay out of prison.

IN THIS ARTICLE
New Jersey Air Guns
TRENDING NOW
Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Hampshire: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Senate!

Today, Senate Bill 12, legislation eliminating the requirement to obtain a permit in order to lawfully carry, passed the Senate without amendment, by a 13-10 vote.  SB 12 will now go to the House of ...

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, January 18, the Senate Courts of Justice is expected to hear and possibly vote on several firearm-related bills.

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed the Public Building Security Act, pro-gun legislation that amended the Personal and Family Protection Act. 

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

News  

Friday, December 16, 2016

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement on the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

Friday, January 13, 2017

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

With the 2017 Indiana legislative session underway, we are happy to report that a number of pro-gun bills have been filed.

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.