ASSEMBLY, No. 1937



STATE OF NEW JERSEY

208th LEGISLATURE



INTRODUCED APRIL 16, 1998





Sponsored by:

Assemblyman RAUL "RUDY" GARCIA

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblyman CHARLES "KEN" ZISA

District 37 (Bergen)









SYNOPSIS

Provides that parent or guardian of child who uses firearm in commission of offense is guilty of fourth degree crime.



CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.



An Act concerning parental liability and firearms, supplementing chapter 4A of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes and chapter 43 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.



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



1. In any case where a juvenile who used or possessed a firearm during the commission of an offense is adjudicated delinquent, the parent or guardian of the juvenile shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the juvenile acquired, possessed, or obtained access to a firearm in violation of law and as a result of the parent or guardian failing or neglecting to exercise proper supervision or control over the juvenile.

In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, the court may require the parent or guardian who is convicted pursuant to this section to perform 80 hours of commmunity service and to participate in a course on firearm safety which shall be approved by the Superintendent of State Police.



2. a. In any case where a minor who used or possessed a firearm during the commission of an offense is convicted of a crime, the parent or guardian of the minor shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the minor acquired, possessed, or obtained access to a firearm in violation of law and as a result of the parent or guardian failing or neglecting to exercise proper supervision or control over the minor.

In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, the court may require the parent or guardian who is convicted pursuant to this section to perform 80 hours of commmunity service and to participate in a course on firearm safety which shall be approved by the Superintendent of State Police.

b. As used in this section, "minor" means a person under the age of 18.



3. This act shall take effect immediately.





STATEMENT



This bill is part of a package of bills designed to attack the problem of gun violence among children and teenagers.

Under the provisions of this bill, if a juvenile or minor who used or possessed a firearm during the commission of an offense is adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime, the parent or guardian of the juvenile or minor would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known that the juvenile acquired, possessed, or obtained access to a firearm in violation of law and as a result of the parent or guardian failing or neglecting to exercise proper supervision or control over the juvenile or minor.

The bill also provides that the court may require the parent or guardian to perform 80 hours of commmunity service and participate in a course on firearm safety approved by the Superintendent of State Police.

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) states that gun violence is one of the most serious problems facing the nation's youth. According to the CDF, gun violence claims the life of a child every two hours and the equivalent of a full classroom of children every two days. CDF statistics also show that homicide has become the third leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14 and the second leading cause of death for children and youth ages 10 to 24. In the years 1979 through 1991, almost 50,000 children were killed by guns, surpassing the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam war.