Wilson & Johnson Bill Cracking Down on Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gilbert “Whip” Wilson and Gordon Johnson to toughen the penalties for anyone convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm has been signed into law.
“We need to send the strongest message possible that gun crimes will not be tolerated,” said Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This protects the rights of law-abiding gun owners while going after criminals.”
The law (A-4152) upgrades the unlawful possession of a firearm to a crime of the first degree in certain circumstances and amends various other penalty provisions for firearms convictions.
“Legal gun owners who adhere to the law would be further protected under this bill,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “Essentially, we’re saying, ‘We are taking back our streets and we’re not going to tolerate senseless gun violence in our communities anymore.’ “
Specifically, the law will make it a crime of the first degree for a person to unlawfully possess a machine gun, handgun, rifle or shotgun, or an assault firearm following a conviction for a crime under the No Early Release Act.
Additionally, the bill would increase the mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility under the Graves Act from three years to 42 months. The Graves Act provides that a person convicted of unlawful possession of a machine gun, handgun, rifle or shotgun is subject to a mandatory minimum period of parole ineligibility. In addition, the law adds the unlawful possession of an assault firearm to the list of crimes that are subject to Graves Act sentencing.