Penalties for Illegal Firearms Sales Would Increase Under State Law

TRENTON, NJ — State Senators Troy Singleton and Linda Greenstein want to expand culpability requirements for unlawful firearms trafficking violations under a proposed law.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2159, known as the “Real Accountability for Consequences of Unlawful Trafficking of Firearms Act,” unanimously passed the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday. Under the measure, a violation of “firearms trafficking" and strict liability criminal penalties for firearm trafficking that results in bodily injury or death would become state law.

Singleton (D-Burlington) said that approximately 80 percent of crime guns traced in New Jersey come from out of state.

"We must continue to hold gun traffickers responsible for their role in perpetuating gun violence,” said Singleton. “Increasing the penalties of gun traffickers will aid in deterring and holding traffickers responsible for the risk they pose to residents. This legislation will specifically target traffickers that pose a severe threat to the safety of residents through illegal gun transfers and sales.”

A “firearms trafficking violation” would include the transfer of a firearm to someone without a handgun permit, without a firearms purchaser identification card or who is barred from possessing a firearm.

Any person who purposely commits any firearm trafficking violation would be held responsible for any death or bodily injury that results from the discharge of the firearm and would be guilty of a crime of the first or second degree.

“This kind of legislation is lifesaving, keeping guns out of the hands of bad actors who should never have been able to access these illegal and dangerous weapons in the first place,” said Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “We have a duty to keep these crime guns out of the wrong hands and disincentivize the sale of illegal firearms at every opportunity.”

Original Article