[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 993







Sponsored by:


District 37 (Bergen)

Senator  NIA H. GILL

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)






     Reduces maximum capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.



     As reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on May 5, 2014, with amendments.


An Act concerning firearms and amending N.J.S.2C:39-1.


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


     1.    N.J.S.2C:39-1 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:39-1.  Definitions.  The following definitions apply to this chapter and to chapter 58:

     a.    "Antique firearm" means any rifle or shotgun and "antique cannon" means a destructive device defined in paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section, if the rifle, shotgun or destructive device, as the case may be, is incapable of being fired or discharged, or which does not fire fixed ammunition, regardless of date of manufacture, or was manufactured before 1898 for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available, and is possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for its historical significance or value.

     b.    "Deface" means to remove, deface, cover, alter or destroy the name of the maker, model designation, manufacturer's serial number or any other distinguishing identification mark or number on any firearm.

     c.    "Destructive device" means any device, instrument or object designed to explode or produce uncontrolled combustion, including (1) any explosive or incendiary bomb, mine or grenade; (2) any rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces or any missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter of an ounce; (3) any weapon capable of firing a projectile of a caliber greater than 60 caliber, except a shotgun or shotgun ammunition generally recognized as suitable for sporting purposes; (4) any Molotov cocktail or other device consisting of a breakable container containing flammable liquid and having a wick or similar device capable of being ignited.  The term does not include any device manufactured for the purpose of illumination, distress signaling, line-throwing, safety or similar purposes.

     d.    "Dispose of" means to give, give away, lease, loan, keep for sale, offer, offer for sale, sell, transfer, or otherwise transfer possession.

     e.    "Explosive" means any chemical compound or mixture that is commonly used or is possessed for the purpose of producing an explosion and which contains any oxidizing and combustible materials or other ingredients in such proportions, quantities or packing that an ignition by fire, by friction, by concussion or by detonation of any part of the compound or mixture may cause such a sudden generation of highly heated gases that the resultant gaseous pressures are capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects.  The term shall not include small arms ammunition, or explosives in the form prescribed by the official United States Pharmacopoeia.

     f.     "Firearm" means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances.  It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.

     g.    "Firearm silencer" means any instrument, attachment, weapon or appliance for causing the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm to be silent, or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm.

     h.    "Gravity knife" means any knife which has a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force.

     [I.] i. "Machine gun" means any firearm, mechanism or instrument not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot and having a reservoir, belt or other means of storing and carrying ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, mechanism or instrument and fired therefrom.

     j.     "Manufacturer" means any person who receives or obtains raw materials or parts and processes them into firearms or finished parts of firearms, except a person who exclusively processes grips, stocks and other nonmetal parts of firearms.  The term does not include a person who repairs existing firearms or receives new and used raw materials or parts solely for the repair of existing firearms.

     k.    "Handgun" means any pistol, revolver or other firearm originally designed or manufactured to be fired by the use of a single hand.

     l.     "Retail dealer" means any person including a gunsmith, except a manufacturer or a wholesale dealer, who sells, transfers or assigns for a fee or profit any firearm or parts of firearms or ammunition which he has purchased or obtained with the intention, or for the purpose, of reselling or reassigning to persons who are reasonably understood to be the ultimate consumers, and includes any person who is engaged in the business of repairing firearms or who sells any firearm to satisfy a debt secured by the pledge of a firearm.

     m.   "Rifle" means any firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and using the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

     n.    "Shotgun" means any firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder and using the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shots or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, or any firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder which does not fire fixed ammunition.

     o.    "Sawed-off shotgun" means any shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle, or a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle, or any firearm made from a rifle or a shotgun, whether by alteration, or otherwise, if such firearm as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

     p.    "Switchblade knife" means any knife or similar device which has a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife.

     q.    "Superintendent" means the Superintendent of the State Police.

     r.     "Weapon" means anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury.  The term includes, but is not limited to, all (1) firearms, even though not loaded or lacking a clip or other component to render them immediately operable; (2) components which can be readily assembled into a weapon; (3) gravity knives, switchblade knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, or other dangerous knives, billies, blackjacks, bludgeons, metal knuckles, sandclubs, slingshots, cesti or similar leather bands studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood; and (4) stun guns; and any weapon or other device which projects, releases, or emits tear gas or any other substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air.

     s.     "Wholesale dealer" means any person, except a manufacturer, who sells, transfers, or assigns firearms, or parts of firearms, to persons who are reasonably understood not to be the ultimate consumers, and includes persons who receive finished parts of firearms and assemble them into completed or partially completed firearms, in furtherance of such purpose, except that it shall not include those persons dealing exclusively in grips, stocks and other nonmetal parts of firearms.

     t.     "Stun gun" means any weapon or other device which emits an electrical charge or current intended to temporarily or permanently disable a person.

     u.    "Ballistic knife" means any weapon or other device capable of lethal use and which can propel a knife blade.

     v.    "Imitation firearm" means an object or device reasonably capable of being mistaken for a firearm.

     w.   "Assault firearm" means:

     (1) The following firearms:

     Algimec AGM1 type

     Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder such as the "Street Sweeper" or "Striker 12"

     Armalite AR-180 type

     Australian Automatic Arms SAR

     Avtomat Kalashnikov type semi-automatic firearms

     Beretta AR-70 and BM59 semi-automatic firearms

     Bushmaster Assault Rifle

     Calico M-900 Assault carbine and M-900

     CETME G3

     Chartered Industries of Singapore SR-88 type

     Colt AR-15 and CAR-15 series

     Daewoo K-1, K-2, Max 1 and Max 2, AR 100 types

     Demro TAC-1 carbine type

     Encom MP-9 and MP-45 carbine types

     FAMAS MAS223 types

     FN-FAL, FN-LAR, or FN-FNC type semi-automatic firearms

     Franchi SPAS 12 and LAW 12 shotguns

     G3SA type

     Galil type Heckler and Koch HK91, HK93, HK94, MP5, PSG-1

     Intratec TEC 9 and 22 semi-automatic firearms

     M1 carbine type

     M14S type

     MAC 10, MAC 11, MAC 11-9mm carbine type firearms

     PJK M-68 carbine type

     Plainfield Machine Company Carbine

     Ruger K-Mini-14/5F and Mini-14/5RF

     SIG AMT, SIG 550SP, SIG 551SP, SIG PE-57 types

     SKS with detachable magazine type

     Spectre Auto carbine type

     Springfield Armory BM59 and SAR-48 type

     Sterling MK-6, MK-7 and SAR types

     Steyr A.U.G. semi-automatic firearms

     USAS 12 semi-automatic type shotgun

     Uzi type semi-automatic firearms

     Valmet M62, M71S, M76, or M78 type semi-automatic firearms

     Weaver Arm Nighthawk.

     (2) Any firearm manufactured under any designation which is substantially identical to any of the firearms listed above.

     (3) A semi-automatic shotgun with either a magazine capacity exceeding six rounds, a pistol grip, or a folding stock.

     (4) A semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding [15] 10 rounds.  1“Assault firearm” shall not include a semi-automatic rifle which has an attached tubular device and which is capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.1

     (5) A part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into an assault firearm, or any combination of parts from which an assault firearm may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

     x.    "Semi-automatic" means a firearm which fires a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger and is self-reloading or automatically chambers a round, cartridge, or bullet.

     y.    "Large capacity ammunition magazine" means a box, drum, tube or other container which is capable of holding more than [15] 10 rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly therefrom into a semi-automatic firearm.  1The term shall not include an attached tubular device which is capable of holding only .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.1

     z.    "Pistol grip" means a well-defined handle, similar to that found on a handgun, that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, and which permits the shotgun to be held and fired with one hand.

     aa.   "Antique handgun" means a handgun manufactured before 1898, or a replica thereof, which is recognized as being historical in nature or of historical significance and either (1) utilizes a match, friction, flint, or percussion ignition, or which utilizes a pin-fire cartridge in which the pin is part of the cartridge or (2) does not fire fixed ammunition or for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available.

     bb.  "Trigger lock" means a commercially available device approved by the Superintendent of State Police which is operated with a key or combination lock that prevents a firearm from being discharged while the device is attached to the firearm.  It may include, but need not be limited to, devices that obstruct the barrel or cylinder of the firearm, as well as devices that immobilize the trigger.

     cc.   "Trigger locking device" means a device that, if installed on a firearm and secured by means of a key or mechanically, electronically or electromechanically operated combination lock, prevents the firearm from being discharged without first deactivating or removing the device by means of a key or mechanically, electronically or electromechanically operated combination lock.

     dd.  "Personalized handgun" means a handgun which incorporates within its design, and as part of its original manufacture, technology which automatically limits its operational use and which cannot be readily deactivated, so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user.  The technology limiting the handgun's operational use may include, but not be limited to:  radio frequency tagging, touch memory, remote control, fingerprint, magnetic encoding and other automatic user identification systems utilizing biometric, mechanical or electronic systems.  No make or model of a handgun shall be deemed to be a "personalized handgun" unless the Attorney General has determined, through testing or other reasonable means, that the handgun meets any reliability standards that the manufacturer may require for its commercially available handguns that are not personalized or, if the manufacturer has no such reliability standards, the handgun meets the reliability standards generally used in the industry for commercially available handguns.

(cf: P.L.2002, c.130, s.5)


     12.   (New section)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection j. of N.J.S.2C:39-3, a retired law enforcement officer who is authorized to possess and carry a handgun pursuant to subsection l. of N.J.S.2C:39-6 may possess and carry a large capacity ammunition magazine which is capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition that can be fed continuously and directly into a semi-automatic handgun.1


     13.   (New section) Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-6, a law enforcement officer may possess and carry while on duty a large capacity ammunition magazine and possess and carry while off duty a large capacity ammunition magazine which is capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition that can be fed continuously and directly into a semi-automatic firearm.1


     14.   (New section) Any person who legally owns a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds or a large capacity ammunition magazine as defined under subsection y. of N.J.S.2C:39-1 which is capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition on the effective date of P.L.     , c.     (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) may retain possession of that rifle or magazine for a period not to exceed 180 days from the effective date of this act.  During this time period, the owner of the semi-automatic rifle or magazine shall: 

     a.    Transfer the semi-automatic rifle or magazine to any person or firm lawfully entitled to own or possess that firearm or magazine;

     b.    Render the semi-automatic rifle or magazine inoperable; or

     c.    Voluntarily surrender the semi-automatic rifle or magazine pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:39-12.1


     15.   N.J.S.2C:39-12 is amended to read as follows:  

     2C:39-12. No person shall be convicted of an offense under this chapter for possessing any firearms, weapons, destructive devices, large capacity ammunition magazines, silencers or explosives, if after giving written notice of his intention to do so, including the proposed date and time of surrender, he voluntarily surrendered the weapon, device,  instrument or substance in question to the superintendent or to the chief of  police in the municipality in which he resides, provided that the required  notice is received by the superintendent or chief of police before any charges  have been made or complaints filed against such person for the unlawful  possession of the weapon, device, instrument or substance in question and  before any investigation has been commenced by any law enforcement agency concerning the unlawful possession.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting immunity from prosecution for any crime or offense except that of the unlawful possession of such weapons, devices, instruments or substances surrendered as herein provided.1

(cf: N.J.S.2C:39-12)


     1[2] 61.      This act shall take effect 1[on the first day of the third month following enactment] immediately.1