Greenwald & Reynold-Jackson Bill Strengthening Penalties for Gun Trafficking, Straw Purchasing Crimes Now Law

Legislation Continues Ongoing Effort to End Gun Violence in NJ Communities

Building upon the momentum set by the Legislature with the passage of several bills aimed at stemming gun violence in New Jersey communities, legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson was signed into law on Tuesday by the Governor.

“Since the tragedy in Sandy Hook, we have revised our laws in New Jersey, restricting large capacity weapons and ghost guns from getting into the wrong hands, to reduce the scourge of gun violence plaguing our cities,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “To address the mental health aspect of gun violence, we engaged our community and hospital partners to help victims and their families work through their trauma and break the cycle of violence. We will continue to ensure that law enforcement, state entities, and gun store owners will work together to reduce gun crimes and gun trafficking in our communities.”

According to a recent NJGUNSTAT Report, 83% of guns recovered at crime scenes in New Jersey during the first quarter of 2019 were originally purchased out of state. Nearly 350 identified crime guns were recovered; most of these firearms were purchased in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.

“More than a thousand New Jersey residents are shot every year,” said Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “By requiring gun owners to have firearm IDs, we will be able to find out how these guns are getting into the hands of criminals by tracking each gun and all ammo to the point of sale.”

The new law (A-5454) criminalizes the purchase, transfer, or possession of certain weapons and ammunition by persons convicted of certain crimes. It bars an individual from owning a firearm or ammunition and establishes a 3rd degree crime of transporting, shipping, selling, disposing of or possession a firearm without a federally licensed and registered serial number.

The bill signing ceremony was held at Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights.

“The scourge of gun violence is a pervasive problem that affects our entire nation,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud to work with our legislators to implement some of the toughest gun laws in the country to protect our residents and make our communities safer for all. We see the results of our work by having among the lowest rates of gun-related deaths nationwide. With every step, New Jersey is proving that commonsense gun safety laws work.”

The Assembly passed 58-10-9 in June.