NJ Bills Advancing to the Governor’s Desk

Two Bills passed the second chamber of the New Jersey legislature on June 27, 2013 that bear watching as one would modify ammunition reporting requirements and the other would modify the “destructive device” definition to ban .50 caliber firearms with certain exceptions.

Among many provisions, NJ SB-2723 (2013) would require dealers to log Internet rifle, shotgun, and handgun ammunition sales and transfers to licensed manufacturers, wholesalers, and dealers, as well as all persons with a valid firearms purchaser identifier card.  The provision allows 10-months for the superintendent of police to develop a program for real-time, electronic reporting by dealers of specified information.  The reported information designated in the bill would include name, age, address, type of firearms identifier exhibited or possessed, caliber, numerical count of ammunition, and date of transaction.  The superintendent would be empowered to require submission of such additional information as he “…deems necessary for the proper enforcement of this section.”  

Additional details include particulars that shipments would be restricted to the address appearing on one of the government-issued acceptable forms of identification; exemptions may apply for historical or curio firearm ammunition; and exemptions may apply for de minimus sales at a firearms range operated by a licensed dealer.

Another bill of note is NJ AB-2178 (2013), which would ban sales of any weapon capable of firing a projectile of .50 caliber or greater, “…except a shotgun or shotgun ammunition generally recognized as suitable for sporting purposes…”  The bill also contains a provision exempting specified weapons capable of firing a projectile up to .60 caliber, such as an antique firearm.  Individuals who lawfully own such a prohibited firearm would have one year in which to lawfully dispose of them.

The .50 caliber is the most powerful commonly available cartridge not considered a “destructive device” as it is defined under the National Firearms Act.  The NFA defines “destructive device,” in relevant part, as having a bore greater than one-half inch in diameter.

Both of these bills have been uploaded, as passed, into the Orchid Advisors research library, and we’ve added them to our newsletter sidebar under the heading “On the Governors’ Desks.”  As of this blog post, these bills have not been signed into law.