Measure is Part of Assembly Democrats’ Comprehensive Anti-Gun Violence Initiative
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Charles Mainor and Tim Eustace to create uniform reporting requirements to log and track abandoned, discarded or seized firearms was approved 69-7 Monday by the Assembly.
The legislation (A-3797) is part of the comprehensive Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention initiative. The bill as approved incorporates changes made by Gov. Christie in his conditional veto while maintaining the tools to help law enforcement to solve and deter gun related crimes.
“The systems and technology to collect and report 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.”
“Providing for the public safety and the wellbeing of the citizens of our residents and responding to the growing dangers and threats of gun violence is a priority, which makes it vital for the law enforcement departments and agencies of this state to fully participate, through the utilization of electronic technology, in interjurisdictional information and analysis sharing programs and systems to deter and solve gun crimes,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This is just more common sense.”
The bill would require that information relating to the crime of firearms trafficking be included in the annual crime report the Attorney General prepares and transmits to the Governor and Legislature.
Also under the bill, local law enforcement officers and agencies are required to report to the various federal and state database systems that are part of the Criminal Justice Information System information relating to their seizure or recovery of firearms unlawfully possessed, used for an unlawful purpose, recovered at a crime scene or found as abandoned or discarded weapons.
These database systems, which include the National Crime Information Center’s 2000 System, NJ Trace (part of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ e-Trace System) and the National Integrated Ballistics Identification Network, make nationwide firearms information readily available to law enforcement agencies.
“By integrating and analyzing the firearms’ information available through these databases with the data submitted by local law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, the State Police can develop valuable profiles on the geographic and source venders or providers of the firearms being illegally brought into the state,” Mainor said.
Finally, 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,” Eustace said.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.