Mainor Bill to Report & Track Abandoned & Seized Firearms Advanced by Assembly Panel

Measure is Part of Assembly Democrats’ Comprehensive Anti-Gun Violence Initiative

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor creating uniform reporting requirements to log and track abandoned, discarded or seized firearms was approved by an Assembly panel on Wednesday.

The legislation was approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee during a special hearing as part of the comprehensive Assembly Democratic anti-gun violence initiative, which is comprised of more than two dozen bills. The measure now heads for a vote before the full Assembly on Feb. 21.

“The systems and technology to report and track abandoned or seized weapons are out there, but what’s really needed are standard procedures to help make sure this gets done,” said Mainor (D-Hudson), who is also a detective with the Jersey City Police Department. “These procedures are critical to solving gun-related crimes, getting criminals off the street and preventing future crimes.”

Under the provisions of the bill (A-3797), all New Jersey law enforcement agencies would be required to report information relating to abandoned or discarded firearms they have recovered, or to firearms they have seized or recovered because those firearms were unlawfully possessed, used for an unlawful purpose, recovered from the scene of a crime, or are reasonably believed to have been used or associated with the commission of a crime.

The bill requires such firearms to be reported to the National Crime Information Center 2000 System to determine whether that firearm has been reported stolen and to the New Jersey Trace System which, as part of the Criminal Justice Information System, makes information relating to the identity of a firearm’s first purchaser, where and when it was purchased, and makes that information readily available to all law enforcement agencies.

The bill also requires all New Jersey law enforcement agencies to test-fire certain seized and recovered firearms and submit the resulting ballistics information to the National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network. The ballistics information in the network is used to determine whether the firearm is associated with or related to a crime, criminal event, or any individual associated or related to a crime or criminal event.

Similarly the bill requires all law enforcement to report the ballistics information concerning any spent shell casing recovered at a crime scene to the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network. The information submitted to the National Ballistics Identification Network is a readily available tool used by law enforcement not only to solve crimes, but also to prevent and deter future criminal activity.

Lastly, the bill would require the State Police Superintendant to issue to the public an initial report and quarterly reports thereafter summarizing firearms trace data received from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.