ASSEMBLY, No. 3796

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  CHARLES MAINOR

District 31 (Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides 90-day window for persons to dispose of certain unlawfully possessed firearms.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the possession of certain firearms.

 

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

 

     1.    Any person who has in his possession a handgun in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 or a rifle or shotgun in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:39-5 on the effective date of this act may retain possession of that handgun, rifle, or shotgun for a period of not more than 90 days after the effective date of this act.  During that time period, the possessor of that handgun, rifle, or shotgun shall:

     (1)   transfer that firearm to any person lawfully entitled to own or possess it; or

     (2)   voluntarily surrender that firearm pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-12. 

 

     2.    a.  Except as provided in subsection d. of this section, any person who has in his possession an assault firearm on the effective date of this act may retain possession of that firearm for a period of not more than 90 days after the effective date.  During that time period, the possessor of the assault firearm shall:

     (1)   transfer the assault firearm to any person lawfully entitled to own or possess such firearm;

     (2)   render the assault firearm inoperable; or

     (3)   voluntarily surrender the assault firearm pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-12.

     b.    If the person who possesses the assault firearm elects to render the firearm inoperable, the person shall file a certification on a form prescribed by the Superintendent of the State Police indicating the date on which the firearm was rendered inoperable.  This certification shall be filed with either the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person resides, or in the case of a person who resides outside this State but stores or possesses an assault firearm in this State, with the Superintendent of the State Police.

     c.     As used in this section, “inoperable” means that the firearm is altered in such a manner that it cannot be immediately fired and that the person does not possess or have control over the parts necessary to make the firearm operable.

     d.    The provisions of this act shall not be applicable to any assault firearm possessed pursuant to N.J.S.2C:58-5 or registered pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12).

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day after enactment and shall expire on the 180th day after enactment, but the Superintendent of State Police may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance of the effective date as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a 90-day period for a person who unlawfully possesses a handgun, rifle, or shotgun or who possesses an unlicensed or unregistered assault firearm to dispose of that firearm by transferring it, voluntarily surrendering it, or, in the case of an assault firearm, rendering it inoperable.

     Under the bill’s provisions, a person who unlawfully possesses a handgun, rifle, or shotgun would be required either transfer that firearm to a person who may lawfully possess it or voluntarily surrender that firearm to the appropriate law enforcement agency or officer.

     In the case of an assault firearm, any person who has in his possession an unlicensed or unregistered assault firearm would be required, within 90 days of the bill’s effective date, to: (1) transfer the assault firearm to any person or firm lawfully entitled to own or possess the firearm; (2) render the assault firearm inoperable; or (3) voluntarily surrender the assault firearm pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-12.

     If the person elects to render the firearm inoperable, he or she is required to file a certification on a form prescribed by the Superintendent of the State Police indicating the date on which the firearm was rendered inoperable.  In the case of a person who resides in New Jersey, the certification is to be filed with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which the person resides.  If the person resides outside of this State but stores or possesses an assault firearm in this State, the certification is to be filed with the superintendent.

     The bill defines “inoperable” to mean that the firearm is altered in such a manner that it cannot be immediately fired and that the person who possesses the firearm does not possess or have control over the parts necessary to make the firearm operable.

     P.L.1990, c.32 prohibited the manufacture, sale, or possession of assault firearms and large capacity ammunition magazines except under certain circumstances.  In addition, persons who possessed an assault firearm on the bill’s effective date were given one year to obtain a license for the firearm, render it permanently inoperable, sell it, turn it over to the police, or dispose of it in some other legal manner.  This bill reopens a window for persons who possess these weapons to comply with the State law.