Mainor, Singleton & Johnson Bill to Toughen Penalties for Those who Unlawfully Let a Child Possess a Firearm Approved by Assembly
Bill is Part of Assembly Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Initiative
Legislation Assembly Democrat Charles Mainor sponsored to upgrade the penalty for unlawfully selling, giving or transferring a firearm to an underage person was approved 73-0-2 Thursday by the Assembly.
The bill is part of the ongoing Assembly Democratic gun violence prevention initiative.
"Here in New Jersey we've seen, so tragically, and sadly more than once, what can happen when a child gets hold of a firearm," said Mainor (D-Hudson). "If someone is careless with their firearm and lets a child have it, then they deserve a severe punishment. It's that simple, really."
Currently, a person who unlawfully sells, gives or transfers a firearm to an underage person is guilty of a crime of the third degree with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000; imprisonment for a term of three to five years; or both.
Under this bill (A-4179), a person who unlawfully sells, gives or transfers a firearm to an underage person would be guilty of a crime of the second degree with a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. A crime of the second degree is punishable by a fine of up to $150,000; imprisonment for a term of five to 10 years; or both.
"Tough penalties are needed for those who recklessly let a gun get into the hands of a child," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "We need to do more to send a message that people better do the right thing with their firearms. Allowing an underage person to unlawfully get a firearm it is unacceptable."
"Gun safety is a priority," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "We've seen the tragedies. Let's put a stop to them."