ASSEMBLY, No. 454



STATE OF NEW JERSEY

208th LEGISLATURE



PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 1998 SESSION





Sponsored by:

Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Camden)

Assemblyman ANTHONY IMPREVEDUTO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)



Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Previte









SYNOPSIS

Clarifies civil liability of manufacturers, shippers, and sellers of assault firearms used in the commission of a crime in certain cases.



CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.



(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 10/26/1999)

An Act concerning certain firearms and supplementing P.L.1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12 et al.).



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



1. a. If an assault firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the manufacturer of that assault firearm shall be civilly liable for any damages resulting from that crime. The liability imposed by this subsection shall not apply if the manufacturer establishes that the assault firearm was manufactured prior to May 30, 1990.

b. If an assault firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the person who shipped or otherwise transported that assault weapon into the State shall be civilly liable for any damages resulting from that crime. The liability imposed by this subsection shall not apply if the shipper or transporter establishes that: (1) the assault firearm was legally shipped or transported into the State prior to May 30, 1990 or (2) the assault firearm, while being shipped or transported into this State in accordance with the registration and licensing provisions of P.L. 1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12 et al.) and chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, was stolen and that the theft of the firearm was reported to law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the shipper or transporter's knowledge of the theft.

c. If an assault firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the seller or transferor of that assault firearm in this State shall be civilly liable for any damages resulting from that crime. The liability imposed by this subsection shall not apply if the seller or transferor establishes that: (1) the sale or transfer of the assault firearm was a legal transaction that occurred prior to May 30, 1990, or (2) the sale or transfer of the assault firearm, while occurring on or after May 30, 1990, was executed in accordance with the registration, licensing, and other regulatory provisions of P.L.1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12 et al.) and chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

2. This act shall take effect immediately.





STATEMENT



This bill clarifies the civil liability of the manufacturer, shipper, transporter, and seller or transferor of an assault firearm for damages resulting from the use of that assault firearm in the commission of a crime.

The provisions of the bill provide that the manufacturer of an assault firearm that is used in a crime would be civilly liable unless he can establish that the firearm was manufactured before May 30, 1990, the effective date of P.L.1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12 et al.), the statute which strictly regulates the sale and possession of assault firearms in New Jersey.

Shippers and transporters of assault firearms are civilly liable under the provisions of the bill unless they can establish that (1) the firearm was legally shipped or transported into the State prior to May 30, 1990 or (2) the firearm was stolen while it was being shipped or transported in accordance with the State's strict registration and licensing regulations and that the shipper or transporter notified law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of their knowledge of the theft.

Finally, the seller or transferor of an assault firearm is civilly liable unless he can establish that (1) the sale or transfer occurred prior to May 30, 1990 or (2) while the sale or transfer occurred on or after May 30, 1990, it was executed in accordance with all the licensing, registration, and other regulatory provisions of State law

Under current law, the registered owner of an assault firearm is civilly liable for any damages resulting from a crime committed with that weapon. The owner is afforded immunity from that liability, however, if the firearm has been stolen and the owner so notifies the law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of his becoming aware of the theft.