New Jersey is looking to give law enforcement officers more power when it comes to domestic violence issues involving guns. As it stands now, officers can seize any guns found at a location of domestic abuse, if there is just cause. A new bill is being discussed in the state legislature that would further this stance against weapons.
If convicted of domestic violence, individuals would have 24 hours to turn in any guns they own. An amendment was added to the bill which allowed said gun owners to arrange for the sale of any guns to a retailer within five days, who can then pick up the guns from law enforcement within 10 days.
Opponents of the bill say it is too broad to be wholly effective. New Jersey law does not show a difference between physical and other types of domestic violence. In theory, a gun owner could lose that property for verbally lashing out at or even just annoying their spouse. These both fall into the same category as physical abuse.
Republicans on the related committee were unsure about the bill. Two abstained from the vote, while the other agreed to sign it with hopes of future amendments. One of the members who abstained offered an alternative: increase penalties for those who do use a gun during acts of domestic violence.
The bill has still not gone before the Assembly or Senate, but is expected to soon. Anyone in the tri-state area who needs to file a domestic violence complaint should contact an experienced attorney soon. An attorney can give legal counsel and advice through this trying time.
Source: NJ.com, “N.J. lawmakers act to toughen gun control law in domestic violence cases,” Matt Friedman, June 2, 2015