Singleton Bill Would Expand Penalties For Illegal Gun Sales

TRENTON, NJ – In an effort to crack down on illegal gun sales, Senator Troy Singleton introduced legislation on Thursday to expand culpability requirements for unlawful firearms trafficking violations.

"Approximately 80 percent of crime guns traced in New Jersey come from out of state. Firearms legally bought out of state are often sold illegally within the State. We must continue to hold gun traffickers responsible for their role in perpetuating gun violence," said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington), who represents Bordentown and Fieldsboro in the Legislature. "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."

The Senator said that conversations with Attorney General Matthew Platkin led to the development of this legislation.

"I am incredibly thankful to Attorney General Platkin who shared this policy concept with me, and appreciate his continued commitment to working in partnership to address illegal guns in our state," continued Singleton.

Under the bill, any person who knowingly or recklessly sells firearms without the license to do so would be guilty of a crime in the fourth degree. Any licensed dealer who sells a firearm to a person when the dealer knows or should have known that the individual would transfer or sell the firearm to a disqualified person is guilty of a crime in the second degree and would be permanently prohibited from holding a retail license.

Singleton pointed to a recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll displayed that a majority of New Jersey residents are concerned about the occurrence of mass shootings and support stricter gun legislation. A statewide poll of 1,018 adults revealed that 72 percent of residents are concerned about mass shootings, and 59 percent believe gun laws should be stricter.

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