If Enacted, New Jersey Would Have the Strongest Law in the Nation
(TRENTON) – No Ghost Guns. No 3-D Firearms. And no purchasing any component used in making either of these weapons. Legislation banning the manufacturing of any untraceable or covert firearm was approved 68-5-3 by the full Assembly and the Senate 31-0 Monday.
The bill (A-3129)- sponsored by Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Gary Schaer and Annette Quijano – would make it illegal to purchase firearm parts for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing firearms without a serial number and to manufacture or possess covert or undetectable firearms and 3-D printed firearms.
“Instead of making it harder for criminals to obtain weapons, new technology and mail-order kits are only making it easier for criminals to manufacture firearms at home,” said Moriarty (D- Camden and Gloucester). “Our only recourse is to arm our court system with additional penalties for those who choose to skirt the law, avoid licensure and manufacture these types of firearms to keep or even to sell. We’re saying no to ghost guns, and no to 3-D firearms. Not in New Jersey.”
The bill makes it a 3rd degree crime to: (1) manufacture, cause to be manufactured, transport, ship, sell, or dispose of any covert or undetectable firearm; (2) possess any covert or undetectable firearm; or (3) possess a firearm enclosed in a container or covering that is designed or modified to allow the firearm to be fired while so enclosed and that disguises or obscures the shape of the firearm such that it does not resemble a handgun, rifle, shotgun or machine gun.
“An untraceable and undetectable weapon is a nightmare for our police community,” said Schaer (D-Bergen and Passaic). “We may not be able to end this trend of covert weapons as quickly as we’d like, but we must increase penalties and ensure our law enforcement have the ability to prosecute criminals who evade existing gun laws.”
A covert firearm is a gun that resembles, but not limited to, a key-chain, pen, cigarette package, cellphone, smart phone, wallet, or cane. An undetectable firearm is constructed entirely of non-metal substances, or one that does not include one major component.
“New technology and the make-it-at-home kits are making it way too easy for guns to get into the wrong hands,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This bill sends the appropriate message: New Jersey will not stand for it. If a person manufactures or possesses a ghost gun, or 3-D printed weapon or even buys the parts to make them, there will be additional penalties if convicted.”
A violation of this bill’s provisions is not to merge with any other criminal conviction. The court is to impose separate sentences for each criminal offense.
A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of incarceration of three years to five years, a fine up to $15,000.
The bill now goes to the Governor for further consideration.