On Monday, March 14 at 1:00 p.m., the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider A2426 – an apparently well-intentioned but badly botched piece of legislation whose intended purpose appears to be to throw the book at violent gun criminals – which law-abiding gun owners actually support.
But as written, the bill does not distinguish between violent criminal behavior and innocent technical infractions for the draconian presumption against bail to apply. Law-abiding gun owners who inadvertently violate NJ’s thicket of hyper-technical firearms possession laws would be treated exactly the same as murderers—thrown in jail to rot for years without bail while they await trial someday for their “crimes.”
This is not an imagined concern, as the Garden State has a well-documented track record of throwing the book at honest gun owners for innocent technical infractions. As written, this bill adds insult to injury and would throw honest gun owners in the gulag for years while they await trial for “infractions” like:
-Stopping for food, fuel, going to the bathroom, or medical treatment on the way to or from the target range.
-Transporting firearms to or from one’s place of business, a gun store, hunting, fishing, target shooting competitions, target ranges, re-enactments, gun buyback events, vacation homes or other destinations.
-Widows or widowers turning in firearms of their deceased spouses.
-Possession of antique and black powder firearms (even these firearms could trigger the draconian penalties under this bill).
PLEASE IMMEDIATELY CLICK HERE TO EMAIL EVERY ASSEMBLY MEMBER AND TELL THEM TO EITHER FIX OR OPPOSE A2426. The law should distinguish between MERE POSSESSION of firearms by honest gun owners, vs. MISUSE of firearms by violent gun criminals, and draconian penalties like presumptive denial of bail should only apply to violent criminals who misuse firearms, and not to innocent mistakes of honest gun owners like technical possessory infractions where no violent misconduct is present. Honest gun owners should not be treated the same as murderers! Throw the book at the bad guys but take extreme care not to lump the good guys in with the bad. The bill can easily be amended to make it clear that its penalties apply only to persons accused of violent criminal behavior.