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(TRENTON) — Additional legislation Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Gordon Johnson sponsored to revise New Jersey’s one-gun-per-month law while continuing to protect law-abiding residents and businesses has been signed into law.

The legislation stems from recommendations from a special task force that reviewed the 1-gun-per-month-law. That law took effect Jan. 1 and is designed to restrict deter straw purchases and illegal handgun trafficking, but Burzichelli and Johnson – both Firearms Task Force members – said it also would have penalized many law-abiding gun owners unless changed.

“This is a common sense compromise that does nothing to impair the goal of protecting public safety by keeping criminals from obtaining multiple weapons at once,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “These changes would correct some unintended consequences while also protecting law-abiding citizens and legitimate businesses.”

“These changes would allow us to continue targeting straw purchases and other illegal handgun trafficking, but would provide reasonable exemptions that make sense,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “In the end, these changes are simply clarifications that don’t interfere with protecting public safety and combating handgun trafficking.”

The law (A-4361) provides limited exemptions for certain persons to lawfully purchase more than one handgun within a 30-day period, specifically persons who wish to purchase multiple handguns from an estate or inheritance, collectors of firearms, and persons who use firearms for competitive and recreational purposes.

Under the law, a person who seeks an exemption will apply to the State Police superintendent.

The superintendent will be authorized to approve the purchase of more than one handgun within a 30-day period if the applicant demonstrates to the superintendent’s satisfaction that the request meets the requirements of one of the bill’s specified exemptions.

The superintendent may grant an exemption to an applicant who:

  • Wishes to purchase multiple handguns from a person who obtained the handguns through inheritance or intestacy;
  • Is a collector of handguns and has a need to purchase or otherwise receive multiple handguns in the same transaction or within a 30-day period in furtherance of the applicant’s collecting activities; or
  • Participates in sanctioned handgun shooting competitions and needs to purchase or otherwise receive multiple handguns in a single transaction or within a 30-day period, and the need is related to the applicant’s competitive shooting activities, including use in or training for sanctioned competitions.

A previous Burzichelli-Johnson bill (A-4304) clarified that transfers of handguns between licensed retail dealers, registered wholesale dealers and registered manufacturers are exempted from the monthly limit. It was signed into law Jan. 2 by the Governor.

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