***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Wilson on Bill Establishing ‘Weapon Free Zones’ Around Schools, Day Care Centers & Public Housing and Buildings

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Measure Part of Assembly’s Comprehensive Gun Violence Prevention Package

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson (D-Camden), the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Vice Chair, issued a multimedia package Tuesday on his legislation that would allow for the creation of weapon free zones around schools, day care centers and other public buildings, in an attempt to deter gun crime from occurring in and around these facilities.

Under Wilson’s bill (A-1387), the governing body of any New Jersey municipality would be permitted to adopt an ordinance establishing a weapon free school zone. The zone would encompass all areas within 1,000 feet of a school, college or university building or facility; and all areas within 500 feet of a day care center, public housing facility or public building, like a library or museum. The bill also would consider school busses to be part of the zone, regardless of the location of the bus. Any individual unlawfully in possession of a firearm within an established zone would face fines of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail.

The bill passed the Assembly in February by a vote of 48-24-3.

The multimedia package consists of a video of comments from Assemblyman Wilson on his legislation and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — www.assemblydems.com — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Wilson is appended below:

Assemblyman Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson (D-Camden), Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Vice Chair:
“We’re trying to make the school zones more safer.

“It’s the same to me as speed limits. You have a speed limit, 65 mph in some places. If you go over that, you get stopped by a police officer and there’s a penalty you pay for that.

“So, therefore, you have a weapon within a school zone — an illegal weapon — you should be penalized. So, that’s why this bill came about.

“Now, there’s questions about the bill. For instance, if you’re going to the shooting range; if you’re going hunting and you go through a school zone will you be arrested? No. It’s about unlawful possession of a weapon.

“I live in a school zone; I have weapons in my home, will I be charged? No. Once again, it’s for illegal possession of weapons. That’s what it’s all about.”