SENATE, No. 113

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

208th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 1998 SESSION



Sponsored by:

Senator RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex)

Senator JOSEPH A. PALAIA

District 11 (Monmouth)

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators O'Connor, Adler, Vitale, Turner and Baer







SYNOPSIS

Permits sale of only personalized handguns after three years.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Withdrawn.

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 4/28/1998)

An Act concerning the sale of handguns, supplementing chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes and amending N.J.S.2C:39-1.

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

1. (New section) On and after the effective date of this act, no person registered or licensed by the Superintendent of State Police as a manufacturer, a wholesale dealer of firearms, an employee of a wholesale dealer of firearms, a retail dealer of firearms, or an employee of a retail dealer of firearms pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.2C:58-1 or N.J.S.2C:58-2 shall transport into this State, sell, expose for sale, possess with the intent of selling, assign or otherwise transfer any handgun unless that is a personalized handgun, as defined in N.J.S.2C:39-1, and is identified as such on the list prepared and made available by the Superintendent of State Police pursuant to section 2 of this act.

A registered or licensed manufacturer or dealer or employee thereof who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

2. (New section) To effectuate the purposes of section 1 of this act, the superintendent shall prepare and make available to registered and licensed manufacturers and dealers a list of those personalized handguns that may be transported into this State, sold, exposed for sale, possessed with the intent of selling, assigned or otherwise transferred in accordance with the provisions of this act. The superintendent may amend and supplement the list at such times as he deems appropriate. Registered and licensed manufacturers and dealers shall be notified forthwith of any changes in the list. The notice shall be given in a manner prescribed by the superintendent.

3. (New section) The provisions of section 1 of PL. , c. (C.        )(now before the Legislature as this bill) imposing limitations on the transporting, selling and transferring of certain handguns shall not apply to handguns made available for purchase by or the official use of the State and local law enforcement officers of this State; federal law enforcement officers and any other federal officers and employees required to carry firearms in the performance of their official duties; and members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard while actually on duty.

The transporting, selling, exposing for sale, possessing for sale, assigning or transferring of a handgun exempted under the provisions of this section shall be in accordance the procedures prescribed by the superintendent.

A registered or licensed manufacturer or dealer or employee thereof who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

4. (New section) a. There is established a New Jersey Personalized Handgun Study Commission to study and monitor the implementation of PL. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill) in order to assess the act's impact on handgun sales and transfers; law enforcement and crime; public safety and handgun accidents; the availability of personalized and non-personalized handguns; and the availability and effectiveness of technology to transform non-personalized handguns into personalized handguns. Upon the conclusion of its study and assessment, the commission shall report its findings, along with any recommendations it may have, to the Governor and the Legislature.

b. The commission shall consist of eight members and shall include the Superintendent of State Police, or his designee, who shall serve as the chairman of the commission; the Commissioner of Health or his designee; the president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association; the president of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police; the president of the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police; and three public members appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Of those appointees, one shall be a representative of a handgun manufacturer and two shall be representatives of recognized organizations devoted to reducing firearm violence.

The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Any vacancy in the membership shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

c. The commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of its members. The members shall select a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.

d. The commission is entitled to the assistance and service of the employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and to employ stenographic and clerical assistance and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as may be necessary in order to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.

e. The commission may meet and hold hearings at the places it designates during the sessions or recesses of the Legislature and shall report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature, along with any legislative bills it desires to recommend for adoption by the Legislature, no later than 24 months after the effective date of this act.

5. 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 firearm and "antique cannon" means a destructive device defined in paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section, if the firearm 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. "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 rounds.

(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 rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly therefrom into a semi-automatic firearm.

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. "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 tagging, touch memory, remote control, fingerprint, magnetic encoding, and other automatic user identification systems utilizing biometrics, mechanical and electronic systems.

(cf: P.L.1990, c.32, s.1)

6. This act shall take effect on the first day of the 37th month following enactment; provided, however, the Superintendent of State Police may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act; and further provided that section 3 of this act shall expire upon the submission of the commission's final report, as prescribed therein.



STATEMENT

This bill would impose limits on the types of handguns that may be sold in New Jersey in the future.

Under the provisions of the bill, beginning three years from the signing of the bill, it would be illegal for any registered or licensed firearms manufacturer or dealer to transport, sell, expose for sale, possess for sale, assign or transfer any handgun unless that handgun is a personalized handgun. A personalized handgun is a handgun that incorporates within its design, and as part of it original manufacture, technology which limits its operational use so that it can only be fired by an authorized or recognized user. The technology may involve a variety of systems, such as biometric, mechanical or electronic systems, which restrict the operation of the handgun through radio frequency tagging, touch memory, remote control, fingerprint, magnetic encoding or other automatic user identification programs. Manufacturers and dealers and their employees who violate these restrictions are guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a fine of not more than $7,500, imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months, or both.

These restrictions would not apply to State, federal and local law enforcement officers, the military and the national guard. Non-personalized handguns may be sold to or made available to these exempted individual persons, but only for official purposes and duties, not personal usage. All such sales are to be conducted in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Superintendent of State Police.

Finally, the bill establishes a special eight member study commission, the New Jersey Handgun Study Commission, to study and monitor the bill's impact on handgun sales and transfers; law enforcement and crime; public safety and handgun accidents; the availability of personalized and non-personalized handguns; and the availability and effectiveness of technology to transform non-personalized handguns into personalized handguns.

The Superintendent of State Police is to chair the commission. The the other members of the commission are the Commissioner of Health; representatives of law enforcement (the presidents of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police, and the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police); firearms manufacturers; and organizations devoted to reducing firearm violence.

The commission is to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature within 24 months of the effective date of the sales restrictions imposed by this bill.