Legislation Would Track Flow of Guns From Other States Into New Jersey
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary S. Schaer, Raj Mukherji, Vincent Mazzeo, Angelica Jimenez and Benjie Wimberly to establish a criminal firearms recovery clearinghouse in New Jersey was advanced by an Assembly committee on Thursday.
The bill (A-1648) directs the attorney general to create and maintain a central repository of information regarding all firearms that were seized, forfeited, found or otherwise attained by law enforcement and believed to have been used in a crime. The purpose of the program is to identify the origins of firearms used to commission crimes in New Jersey.
“With this legislation, we will be better able to determine the source of each weapon associated with criminal activity and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Once we know where the guns are coming from, we will be in a position to stem the flow of weapons flooding our communities.”
“Our state already has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “But those laws can only go so far when it’s so easy to legally buy a gun somewhere else and then commit a violent crime in New Jersey. This bill will enable us to pinpoint the epicenters of the problem and reduce gun violence on our streets.”
“It’s clear that gun violence is an interstate problem,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “This bill is a crucial element in our collective effort to ensure safety in our communities and tackle the violent crime that plagues our state and this nation.”
“There is only so much we can do to combat gun crime within our borders when the guns being used are coming from other states,” said Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson). “This can help identify where these guns are coming from so we can effectively reduce gun violence in our neighborhoods.”
“We must do more to pinpoint where the guns are coming from outside of the state,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Tracking this information will help us identify gun trafficking sources and maybe we can stop illegal gun sales before they’re made in New Jersey. This legislation will be helpful in fighting rampant gun crime in the state.”
The bill also directs the Attorney General to establish a form for state and local law enforcement agencies to complete when recovering a firearm, and to cooperate with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and law enforcement agencies from other states. The bill also directs local law enforcement agencies to request the Division of State Police to document and trace recovered firearms and provide results of the trace to those agencies.
The bill was released by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.