ASSEMBLY, No. 3707

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 28, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JOSEPH CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes a ballistics identifier program for certain firearms.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act to establish a ballistics identifier program, supplementing chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, and amending N.J.S.2C:58-2 and N.J.S.2C:64-6.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† (New section)† As used in this act:

†††† "Ballistics identifier" means a digitized or electronic image of a bullet and shell casing fired by a handgun or rifle and clearly showing the distinctive firing pin, ejection, extraction, and land marks for that particular handgun or rifle and which can be utilized, through comparative computer analysis, for investigative and prosecutorial purposes by law enforcement agencies.

†††† "Qualified database" means a database established and maintained by a federal or State law enforcement agency and which contains individual handgun and rifle information, such as the handgun's or rifle's make, model, caliber, manufacturer's serial number and ballistics identifier, and which is made available to, and may be utilized by, law enforcement agencies in this State for investigative and prosecutorial purposes.

 

†††† 2.††† (New section)† a.† The Superintendent of State Police shall establish a ballistics identifier program for New Jersey.† The purpose of the program shall be to establish a database which law enforcement agencies in this State may utilize for investigative and prosecutorial purposes.

†††† On and after the effective date of this act, no handgun shall be sold and delivered unless a ballistics identifier has been obtained for that handgun and made part of a qualified database, and no rifle shall be sold or delivered by a retail dealer unless a ballistics identifier has been obtained for that rifle† and made part of a qualified database.

†††† If the manufacturer or wholesaler does not provide certification that a ballistics identifier has been obtained on a particular handgun or rifle and has been made part of a qualified database,† it shall be the responsibility of the seller, in the case of a handgun, and the retail dealer, in the case of a rifle, to obtain a ballistics identifier for the handgun or rifle and provide for its being made part of a qualified database.

†††† To obtain a ballistics identifier for those handguns and rifles where the manufacture or wholesaler does not provide certification, the seller or retail dealer shall transport the handgun or rifle to a regional center where the State Police shall ascertain a ballistics identifier for each such handgun or rifle.† The cost of ascertaining
each such ballistics identifier shall be borne by the State Police.† To help defray the transportation and other administrative costs associated with obtaining such ballistics identifiers, a retail dealer shall receive $5 for each handgun and rifle processed by the State Police at a regional center.

†††† There shall be no less than three regional centers where sellers and retail dealers may obtain a ballistics identifier for a handgun or rifle from the State Police.

†††† At the time of delivery, the purchaser of a handgun or a rifle subject to the provisions of this section shall receive a certification provided by the State Police stating that a ballistics identifier has been obtained for that particular handgun or rifle and has been made part of a qualified database.† A seller who possesses any such certification, or similar proof acceptable to the superintendent, for a particular handgun shall not be required to submit that handgun for any ballistics identifier processing prior to a subsequent sale.

†††† b.††† In addition to the penalties set forth in N.J.S.2C:39-10, a person who sells a handgun or a retail dealer who sells a rifle in violation of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $7,500 or more than $15,000 and, in addition thereto, a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for each handgun sold or delivered and each rifle sold or delivered by a retail dealer for which no ballistics identifier has been obtained and made part of a qualified database.

†††† The moneys collected as penalties and fines under this section shall be allocated to defray the costs associated with establishing and maintaining the ballistics identifier program authorized under this act.

 

†††† 3.††† (New section)† The Superintendent of State Police shall establish a voluntary ballistics identifier program for New Jersey handgun and rifle owners.† The purpose of the program shall be to enable interested New Jersey firearms owners to voluntarily obtain ballistics identifiers for their handguns and rifles and to have those identifiers made part of a qualified database.

†††† To facilitate the participation of New Jersey handgun and rifle owners, the program shall, to the greatest extent practicable, utilize the regional centers established under section 2 of this act.

†††† The superintendent shall develop and undertake a public education campaign to inform New Jersey handgun and rifle owners of the availability of the voluntary ballistics identifier program established under this act.

 

†††† 4.††† N.J.S.2C:58-2 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2C:58-2. a. Licensing of retail dealers and their employees.† No retail dealer of firearms nor any employee of a retail dealer shall sell or expose for sale, or possess with the intent of selling, any firearm unless licensed to do so as hereinafter provided.† The superintendent shall prescribe standards and qualifications for retail dealers of firearms and their employees for the protection of the public safety, health and welfare.

†††† Applications shall be made in the form prescribed by the superintendent, accompanied by a fee of $50 payable to the superintendent, and shall be made to a judge of the Superior Court in the county where the applicant maintains his place of business. The judge shall grant a license to an applicant if he finds that the applicant meets the standards and qualifications established by the superintendent and that the applicant can be permitted to engage in business as a retail dealer of firearms or employee thereof without any danger to the public safety, health and welfare.† Each license shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of issuance, and shall authorize the holder to sell firearms at retail in a specified municipality.

†††† In addition, every retail dealer shall pay a fee of $5 for each employee actively engaged in the sale or purchase of firearms. The superintendent shall issue a license for each employee for whom said fee has been paid, which license shall be valid for so long as the employee remains in the employ of said retail dealer.

†††† No license shall be granted to any retail dealer under the age of 21 years or to any employee of a retail dealer under the age of 18 or to any person who could not qualify to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun or a firearms purchaser identification card, or to any corporation, partnership or other business organization in which the actual or equitable controlling interest is held or possessed by such an ineligible person.

†††† All licenses shall be granted subject to the following conditions, for breach of any of which the license shall be subject to revocation on the application of any law enforcement officer and after notice and hearing by the issuing court:

†††† (1)†† The business shall be carried on only in the building or buildings designated in the license, provided that repairs may be made by the dealer or his employees outside of such premises.

†††† (2)†† The license or a copy certified by the issuing authority shall be displayed at all times in a conspicuous place on the business premises where it can be easily read.

†††† (3)†† No firearm or imitation thereof shall be placed in any window or in any other part of the premises where it can be readily seen from the outside.

†††† (4)†† (a.)† No rifle or shotgun, except antique rifles or shotguns, shall be delivered to any person unless such person possesses and exhibits a valid firearms purchaser identification card and furnishes the seller, on the form prescribed by the superintendent, a certification signed by him setting forth his name, permanent address, firearms purchaser identification card number and such other information as the superintendent may by rule or regulation require.† The certification shall be retained by the dealer and shall be made available for inspection by any law enforcement officer at any reasonable time; and

†††† (b.)† No rifle, except an antique rifle shall be delivered to any person unless a ballistics identifier has been obtained for that rifle and has be en made part of a qualified database pursuant to section 1 of P.L.††† , c.††† (C.††† )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† (5)†† No handgun shall be delivered to any person unless:

†††† (a)†† Such person possesses and exhibits a valid permit to purchase a firearm and at least seven days have elapsed since the date of application for the permit;

†††† (b)†† The person is personally known to the seller or presents evidence of his identity;

†††† (c)†† The handgun is unloaded and securely wrapped;

†††† (d)†† Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (e) of this paragraph, the handgun is accompanied by a trigger lock or a locked case, gun box, container or other secure facility; provided, however, this provision shall not apply to antique handguns.† The exemption afforded under this subparagraph for antique handguns shall be narrowly construed, limited solely to the requirements set forth herein and shall not be deemed to afford or authorize any other exemption from the regulatory provisions governing firearms set forth in chapter 39 and chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; [and]

†††† (e)†† On and after the first day of the sixth month following the date on which the list of personalized handguns is prepared and delivered pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2002, c.130 (C.2C:58-2.4), the handgun is identified as a personalized handgun and included on that list or is an antique handgun.† The provisions of subparagraph (d) of this section shall not apply to the delivery of a personalized handgun; and

†††† (f)††† A ballistics identifier has been obtained for the handgun and made part of a qualified database pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    , c.    (C.    )(pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† (6)†† The dealer shall keep a true record of every handgun sold, given or otherwise delivered or disposed of, in accordance with the provisions of subsections b. through e. of this section and the record shall note whether a trigger lock, locked case, gun box, container or other secure facility was delivered along with the handgun and that a ballistics identifier has been obtained for the handgun and made part of a qualified database.

†††† (7)†† A dealer shall not knowingly deliver more than one handgun to any person within any 30-day period.† This limitation shall not apply to:

†††† (a)†† a federal, State, or local law enforcement officer or agency purchasing handguns for use by officers in the actual performance of their law enforcement duties;

†††† (b)†† a collector of handguns as curios or relics as defined in Title 18, United States Code, section 921 (a) (13) who has in his possession a valid Collector of Curios and Relics License issued by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;

†††† (c)†† transfers of handguns among licensed retail dealers, registered wholesale dealers and registered manufacturers;

†††† (d)†† any transaction where the person has purchased a handgun from a licensed retail dealer and has returned that handgun to the dealer in exchange for another handgun within 30 days of the original transaction, provided the retail dealer reports the exchange transaction to the superintendent; or

†††† (e)†† any transaction where the superintendent issues an exemption from the prohibition in this subsection pursuant to the provisions of section 4 of P.L.2009, c.186 (C.2C:58-3.4).

†††† b.††† Records.† Every person engaged in the retail business of selling, leasing or otherwise transferring a handgun, as a retail dealer or otherwise, shall keep a register in which shall be entered the time of the sale, lease or other transfer, the date thereof, the name, age, date of birth, complexion, occupation, residence and a physical description including distinguishing physical characteristics, if any, of the purchaser, lessee or transferee, the name and permanent home address of the person making the sale, lease or transfer, the place of the transaction, and the make, model, manufacturer's number, caliber and other marks of identification on such handgun and such other information as the superintendent shall deem necessary for the proper enforcement of this chapter. The register shall be retained by the dealer and shall be made available at all reasonable hours for inspection by any law enforcement officer.

†††† c.†††† Forms of register.† The superintendent shall prepare the form of the register as described in subsection b. of this section and furnish the same in triplicate to each person licensed to be engaged in the business of selling, leasing or otherwise transferring firearms.

†††† d.††† Signatures in register.† The purchaser, lessee or transferee of any handgun shall sign, and the dealer shall require him to sign his name to the register, in triplicate, and the person making the sale, lease or transfer shall affix his name, in triplicate, as a witness to the signature.† The signatures shall constitute a representation of the accuracy of the information contained in the register.

†††† e.†††† Copies of register entries; delivery to chief of police or county clerk.† Within five days of the date of the sale, assignment or transfer, the dealer shall deliver or mail by certified mail, return receipt requested, legible copies of the register forms to the office of the chief of police of the municipality in which the purchaser resides, or to the office of the captain of the precinct of the municipality in which the purchaser resides, and to the superintendent.† If hand delivered a receipt shall be given to the dealer therefor.

†††† Where a sale, assignment or transfer is made to a purchaser who resides in a municipality having no chief of police, the dealer shall, within five days of the transaction, mail a duplicate copy of the register sheet to the clerk of the county within which the purchaser resides.

(cf:† P.L. 2009, c.186, s.1)

 

†††† 5.††† N.J.S.2C:64-6 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 2C:64-6.† Disposal of Forfeited Property.† a.† Property which has been forfeited shall be destroyed if it can serve no lawful purpose or it presents a danger to the public health, safety or welfare. All other forfeited property or any proceeds resulting from the forfeiture and all money seized pursuant to this chapter shall become the property of the entity funding the prosecuting agency involved and shall be disposed of, distributed, appropriated and used in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

†††† The prosecutor or the Attorney General, whichever is prosecuting the case, shall divide the forfeited property, any proceeds resulting from the forfeiture or any money seized pursuant to this chapter with any other entity where the other entity's law enforcement agency participated in the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, in proportion to the other entity's contribution to the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture, as determined in the discretion of the prosecutor or the Attorney General, whichever is prosecuting the case. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such forfeited property and proceeds shall be used solely for law enforcement purposes, and shall be designated for the exclusive use of the law enforcement agency which contributed to the surveillance, investigation, arrest or prosecution resulting in the forfeiture.

†††† The Attorney General is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement and enforce the provisions of this act.

†††† b.††† For a period of two years from the date of enactment of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13 et al.), 10% of the proceeds obtained by the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be deposited into the Hepatitis Inoculation Fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13).

†††† c.†††† Beginning two years from the date of enactment of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13 et al.) and in subsequent years, 5% of the proceeds obtained by the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be deposited into the Hepatitis Inoculation Fund established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1993, c.227 (C.26:4-100.13).

†††† d.††† From the proceeds obtained by the Attorney General under the provisions of subsection a. of this section, there shall be annually allocated such amounts as are needed to effectuate the
purposes of section 1 of† P.L.††† , c.†††† (C.††††††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:† P.L.1993, c.227, s.1)

 

†††† 6.††† (New section)† On the first day of the 13th month following enactment, and biennially thereafter, the Superintendent of State Police shall file a report with the Governor and Legislature concerning the ballistics identifier program established under this act.† The report shall include: the number of handguns and rifles processed for ballistics identifiers at regional centers during the reporting period by the State Police; the number of handguns and rifles processed under the mandatory ballistics identifier program and the number processed under the voluntary ballistics identifier program; the number of criminal investigations during the reporting period in which ballistics identifiers played a role; and such other information and data as the Superintendent may deem appropriate.

 

†††† 7.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month following enactment; but the Superintendent of State Police may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill directs the Superintendent of State Police to establish a ballistics identifier program which law enforcement agencies can utilize for investigative and prosecutorial purposes.

†††† Under the provisions of the bill, no person may sell or transfer a handgun and no licensed retail dealer may sell or transfer a rifle unless a ballistics identifier has been obtained for that firearm and that information has been entered into a qualified database maintained by either a federal or State law enforcement agency and available for investigative and prosecutorial purposes.† If the manufacturer or wholesaler of the firearm does not provide certification that a ballistics identifier has been obtained and incorporated within a qualified database, the seller is responsible for obtaining a ballistics identifier for the firearm.† To obtain such a ballistics identifier, the seller must transport the firearm to a regional center where the State Police will determine the particular ballistics identifier for each firearm.† The cost of ascertaining a firearmís ballistics identifier is to be borne by the State Police.† To help defray the transportation and other administrative costs, retail dealers are to receive $5 for each firearm they bring to the State Police for processing at a regional center.

†††† The bill also directs the superintendent to establish a voluntary ballistics identifier program for existing firearms owners.† To inform New Jersey firearms owners about the program, the superintendent is to develop and undertake a public education campaign.

†††† Finally, the superintendent is directed to issue a report every other year to the Governor and the Legislature.† The report is to include information concerning (1) the number of handguns and rifles processed for ballistics identifiers at regional centers by the State Police; (2) the number of handguns and rifles processed under the mandatory ballistics identifier program and the number processed under the voluntary ballistics identifier program; (3) the number of criminal investigations during the reporting period in which ballistics identifiers played a role; and (4) any other information or data the superintendent may deem appropriate.

†††† A "ballistics identifier" is defined in the bill as a digitized or electronic image of a bullet and shell casing fired by a handgun and clearly showing the distinctive firing pin, ejection, extraction and land marks for that particular handgun or rifle and which can be utilized, through comparative computer analysis, for investigative and prosecutorial purposes by law enforcement agencies.

†††† Funding for the program is to come from the moneys the Attorney General annually obtains from the forfeiture and disposal of property seized in criminal cases.