Domestic abusers must surrender firearms


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Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling to strengthen New Jersey’s gun laws and protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence has been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.

“Legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers will protect New Jersey residents,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Establishing an orderly process for the surrender of firearms is a common sense way to ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals.”

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“Gun owners who have committed an act of domestic violence have proven their intent to cause someone else harm,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “They should not have access to firearms thereafter.”

According to a press release from the two legislators, among other provisions, the new law (S-2483/A-4126) will:

• Require domestic abusers who have been convicted of a domestic violence offense to surrender their firearms and provide a receipt and affidavit to the prosecutor demonstrating they have done so;

• Require a law enforcement officer to accompany an abuser who has become subject to a restraining order to the location of the abuser’s firearms and take possession of the firearms, or if the abuser is prohibited from going to the location by restraining order, require the officer to seize the firearms;

• Require the application for a restraining order to allow the victim to list firearms owned by the abuser;

• Require any identification card and permit issued to an abuser to be immediately revoked and require the court to establish a process for notifying the appropriate authorities of the revocation;

• Enhance penalties for domestic violence offenses.

A previous version of the bill passed both houses of the legislature earlier this year but was conditionally vetoed by the governor, according to the press release.

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