[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 182

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris)

Senator JOHN A. GIRGENTI

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Stack

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Authorizes certain law enforcement officers and corrections officers to possess and use stun guns while on duty.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans' Affairs Committee on June 5, 2008, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning the possession of certain weapons by law enforcement officers, amending N.J.S.2C:39-3 and supplementing chapter 39 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:39-3 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:39-3.  Prohibited Weapons and Devices.

     a.     Destructive devices.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any destructive device is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     b.    Sawed-off shotguns.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any sawed-off shotgun is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     c.     Silencers.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm silencer is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     d.    Defaced firearms.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm which has been defaced, except an antique firearm or an antique handgun, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     e.     Certain weapons.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any gravity knife, switchblade knife, dagger, dirk, stiletto, billy, blackjack, metal knuckle, sandclub, slingshot, cestus or similar leather band studded with metal filings or razor blades imbedded in wood, ballistic knife, without any explainable lawful purpose, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     f.     Dum-dum or body armor penetrating bullets.  (1) Any person, other than a law enforcement officer or persons engaged in activities pursuant to subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-6, who knowingly has in his possession any hollow nose or dum-dum bullet, or (2) any person, other than a collector of firearms or ammunition as curios or relics as defined in Title 18, United States Code, section 921 (a) (13) and has in his possession a valid Collector of Curios and Relics License issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who knowingly has in his possession any body armor breaching or penetrating ammunition, which means:  (a) ammunition primarily designed for use in a handgun, and (b) which is comprised of a bullet whose core or jacket, if the jacket is thicker than.025 of an inch, is made of tungsten carbide, or hard bronze, or other material which is harder than a rating of 72 or greater on the Rockwell B. Hardness Scale, and (c) is therefore capable of breaching or penetrating body armor, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  For purposes of this section, a collector may possess not more than three examples of each distinctive variation of the ammunition described above. A distinctive variation includes a different head stamp, composition, design, or color.

     g.     Exceptions.  (1) Nothing in subsection a., b., c., d., e., f., j. or k. of this section shall apply to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or except as otherwise provided, to any law enforcement officer while actually on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty, provided that his possession of the prohibited weapon or device has been duly authorized under the applicable laws, regulations or military or law enforcement orders.  Nothing in subsection h. of this section shall apply to any law enforcement officer who [is exempted from the provisions of that subsection by the Attorney General] 1[, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill),]1 is certified to possess and use a stun gun 1in accordance with the provisions of section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1 while in the actual performance of his duties.  Nothing in this section shall apply to the possession of any weapon or device by a law enforcement officer who has confiscated, seized or otherwise taken possession of said weapon or device as evidence of the commission of a crime or because he believed it to be possessed illegally by the person from whom it was taken, provided that said law enforcement officer promptly notifies his superiors of his possession of such prohibited weapon or device.

     (2)   a.  Nothing in subsection f. (1) shall be construed to prevent a person from keeping such ammunition at his dwelling, premises or other land owned or possessed by him, or from carrying such ammunition from the place of purchase to said dwelling or land, nor shall subsection f. (1) be construed to prevent any licensed retail or wholesale firearms dealer from possessing such ammunition at its licensed premises, provided that the seller of any such ammunition shall maintain a record of the name, age and place of residence of any purchaser who is not a licensed dealer, together with the date of sale and quantity of ammunition sold.

     b.    Nothing in subsection f.(1) shall be construed to prevent a designated  employee or designated licensed agent for a nuclear power plant under the license of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from possessing hollow nose ammunition while in the actual performance of his official duties, if the federal licensee certifies that the designated employee or designated licensed agent is assigned to perform site protection, guard, armed response or armed escort duties and is appropriately trained and qualified, as prescribed by federal regulation, to perform those duties.

     (3)   Nothing in paragraph (2) of subsection f. or in subsection j. shall be construed to prevent any licensed retail or wholesale firearms dealer from possessing that ammunition or large capacity ammunition magazine at its licensed premises for sale or disposition to another licensed dealer, the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or to a law enforcement agency, provided that the seller maintains a record of any sale or disposition to a law enforcement agency.  The record shall include the name of the purchasing agency, together with written authorization of the chief of police or highest ranking official of the agency, the name and rank of the purchasing law enforcement officer, if applicable, and the date, time and amount of ammunition sold or otherwise disposed. A copy of this record shall be forwarded by the seller to the Superintendent of the Division of State Police within 48 hours of the sale or disposition.

     (4)   Nothing in subsection a. of this section shall be construed to apply to antique cannons as exempted in subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:39-6.

     (5)   Nothing in subsection c. of this section shall be construed to apply to any person who is specifically identified in a special deer management permit issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife to utilize a firearm silencer as part of an alternative deer control method implemented in accordance with a special deer management permit issued pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2000, c.46 (C.23:4-42.6), while the person is in the actual performance of the permitted alternative deer control method and while going to and from the place where the permitted alternative deer control method is being utilized.  This exception shall not, however, otherwise apply to any person to authorize the purchase or possession of a firearm silencer.

     h.     Stun guns.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession any stun gun is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     i.      Nothing in subsection e. of this section shall be construed to prevent any guard in the employ of a private security company, who is licensed to carry a firearm, from the possession of a nightstick when in the actual performance of his official duties, provided that he has satisfactorily completed a training course approved by the Police Training Commission in the use of a nightstick.

     j.     Any person who knowingly has in his possession a large capacity ammunition magazine is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree unless the person has registered an assault firearm pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1990, c.32 (C.2C:58-12) and the magazine is maintained and used in connection with participation in competitive shooting matches sanctioned by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship of the United States Department of the Army.

     k.    Handcuffs.  Any person who knowingly has in his possession handcuffs as defined in P.L.1991, c.437 (C.2C:39-9.2), under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as handcuffs may have, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.  A law enforcement officer shall confiscate handcuffs possessed in violation of the law.

(cf: P.L.2003, c.168, s.1)

     2.    (New section) a. 1The chief law enforcement officer of a State, county or municipal law enforcement agency may permit a law enforcement officer of that agency who completes the training requirement of this section to possess and use a stun gun approved by the Attorney General in accordance with the requirements of this section.  Prior to granting approval to any law enforcement officer, the chief law enforcement officer shall certify to the Attorney General that the officer has completed the training requirement and shall use an approved stun gun in accordance with the requirements of this section.1

     A 1State,1 county or municipal law enforcement officer who successfully completes a stun gun training course approved by the Police Training Commission, and is so certified, shall be authorized to possess and use 1[a] an approved1  stun gun while in the actual performance of his official duties.  To maintain certification under this subsection, a law enforcement officer shall each year successfully complete a review of the training course curriculum and qualify in the use of a stun gun. 

     b.  Any State corrections officer, when authorized by the Commissioner of Corrections, and any county corrections officer, when authorized by the chief administrator of the county correctional facility wherein that officer is employed, who successfully completes a stun gun training course approved by the Police Training Commission, and is so certified, shall be authorized to possess and use a stun gun while in the actual performance of his official duties.  To maintain his certification under this subsection, a State corrections officer or a county corrections officer, as the case may be, shall each year successfully complete a review of the training course curriculum and qualify in the use of a stun gun.

     c.  For the purposes of this section, a “stun gun training course” shall mean a course of instruction developed and approved by the Police Training Commission in the acceptable use, effect and potential risks associated with the use of a stun gun.

     1d.  The Attorney General shall promulgate directives for the implementation of this act, including stun gun specifications approved for use by law enforcement officers.

     e.   The Attorney General shall submit a report annually to the Governor and the Legislature in accordance with section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1) evaluating the use of stun guns by law enforcement officers pursuant to the provisions of this act.  The report shall recommend whether the possession and use of stun guns by law enforcement officers should be continued.1


     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month following enactment, but the 1[Police Training Commission] Attorney General1 may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.