ASSEMBLY LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

ASSEMBLY Nos. 3645, 3646, 3666, and 3750

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:FEBRUARY 13, 2013

 

††††† The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee reports favorably an Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly Bill Nos. 3645, 3646, 3666, and 3750.

††††† This Assembly Committee Substitute establishes a regulatory and reporting program for ammunition sales and transfers.

††††† Under the provisions of the substitute, only persons licensed as retail dealers under State law, their employees, and persons licensed under federal law may engage in the retail business of selling ammunition in New Jersey.

††††† The substitute further mandates that all ammunition sales and transfers must be consummated as face-to-face transactions between the seller or transferor and the purchaser, transferee, or receiver of the ammunition.† Face-to-face transactions are defined as sales or transfers in which the purchaser, transferee, or assignee is in the physical presence of the seller, transferor, or assigner.† This requirement would prohibit mail order, Internet, telephone, or any other anonymous method of sales or transfer transactions in which the two parties are not in each otherís physical presence.

††††† The substitute specifically exempts federal and State licensees and dealers, law enforcement agencies and officials, and collectors when purchasing, acquiring, or transferring ammunition which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance.

††††† Under current law, the sale of handgun ammunition is regulated to the extent that a purchaser must establish his or her eligibility by exhibiting a firearms purchaser identification card, a permit to purchase a handgun, or a permit to carry a handgun and that he or she is 21 years of age or older.

††††† The substitute establishes a similar regulatory program governing the sale of rifle and shotgun ammunition.† In addition to the documentation a purchaser may use to establish his or her eligibility to acquire handgun ammunition, this bill would permit prospective rifle and shotgun ammunition purchasers to exhibit a valid New Jersey hunting license.† Sales and transfers of rifle and shotgun ammunition may not be made to individuals under 18 years of age.

††††† The substitute also requires the Superintendent of State Police to establish an electronic reporting program for dealers to record their sales and transfers of ammunition on a real time basis.† Until that program is operational, dealers are to keep a register of their ammunition sales.† The register is to include the name, address, age, type of documentation exhibited to establish their eligibility to purchase ammunition, the caliber or gauge of the ammunition sold, the numerical amount of ammunition transferred in the sale, and any other information the superintendent deems necessary.† Once the electronic reporting program is available, dealers are to use it for their reporting. The superintendent is to establish an electronic data base containing all of the dealer reported information, which is to be available to all law enforcement officers on a real time basis.

††††† Finally, for the purposes of the open public records act P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), the substitute specifies that all the sales and transfer information recorded in the electronic database is not a government record and, therefore, is to be kept confidential.