Tomorrow, the New Jersey Assembly is scheduled to vote on A.2426, legislation which would create a rebuttable presumption of no bail for gun offenses. Earlier this month, an Assembly committee heard our concerns over the mandatory rejection of bail for purely possessory charges.
Fortunately, most of the offenses which were simply possessory were removed by amendment in the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee. However, there remains a lingering issue with A.2426, and otherwise law-abiding citizens are still in jeopardy if this draconian bail bill were to become law. Over thirty years ago, the state’s semi-auto ban outlawed a handful of guns for cosmetic reasons. By way of example, there is a semi-automatic Benelli turkey hunting shotgun which is prohibited under New Jersey law simply because it has a thumbhole stock. There are other examples. Many years ago, after a short amnesty window, owners risked serious consequences for noncompliance. Once the grace period ended, those owners would no longer be able to transport, possess, surrender, or even destroy those firearms without serious penalty under law. Upon expiration, there is no way to comply. Decades later, relatives who may be left with these guns face harsh penalties with no recourse. A.2426 stipulates that these heirs sit in jail with no bail. Again, this is just one example of the unintended consequences we witness in the Garden State on an all-too-routine basis. This is the quintessential New Jersey gun control bill that establishes harsh penalties for hyper-technical violations of the law with no criminal intent.
Please contact your Assembly members and respectfully ask them to either fix the lingering problems with A.2426 or vote against it.