Mainor Legislation to Establish 180-Day Penalty-Free Period for Turning in Firearms Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Charles Mainor to establish a 180-day period for a person who unlawfully possesses an unlicensed and unregistered firearm to dispose of it by transferring it or turning it over to the police or rendering it inoperable is now law.
State law prohibits the manufacture, sale, or possession of assault firearms and large capacity ammunition magazines except under certain circumstances. Any persons who possessed an assault firearm on that law’s effective date were given one year to obtain a license for the firearm, render it permanently inoperable, sell it or turn it over to the police or dispose of it in some other legal manner.
The sponsor notes that the intent of this law is to once again allow people who possess illegal firearms and/or ammunition to get rid of it without penalty.
“New Jersey once provided an opportunity for residents to do the right thing and turn over assault weapons,” said Mainor (D-Hudson). “We can provide that same encouragement again free of judgment, punishment, and penalty.
“We re-open that window of opportunity for a longer period of time to get as many firearms as we can out of the hands of the public for the safety of the community. These can be firearms inherited from family members and that have no use or purpose. Turning firearms like these over to the authorities would create safer homes and communities.”
Under the law’s (A-3796) provisions, a person who unlawfully possesses a handgun, rifle, or shotgun will be required either transfer that firearm to a person who may lawfully possess it or voluntarily surrender that firearm to the appropriate law enforcement agency or officer. The law excludes unlawfully possessed high capacity ammunition magazines and ammunition. This will be effective immediately and shall expire on the 181st day after enactment.
In the case of an assault firearm, any person who has in his possession an unlicensed or unregistered assault firearm will be required, within 180 days of the bill’s effective date, to: (1) transfer the assault firearm to any person or firm lawfully entitled to own or possess the firearm; (2) render the assault firearm inoperable; or (3) voluntarily surrender the assault firearm. If the person elects to render the firearm inoperable, he or she is required to file a certification on a form prescribed by the Superintendent of the State Police indicating the date on which the firearm was rendered inoperable.