Ban on ‘Hidden Guns’ Is the Toughest in the Country
TRENTON – Legislation authored by Senator Joe Cryan and Senator Nick Scutari that will ban “ghost guns” that are assembled with untraceable gun components was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.
The law aims to stop the illegal assembly of firearms from parts with no serial numbers or other identifying characteristics, ban all undetectable gun components, prohibit the dissemination of programming files used by 3-D printers to make guns and expand the legal definition of “firearms” to make sure that all gun parts are regulated.
“These so-called ‘ghost guns’ are the byproduct of the dark side of new technologies that allow people to make firearms that are hidden from detection and made to be untraceable,” said Senator Joe Cryan, (D-Union), who previously served as Sherriff of Union County. “They are deadly weapons that are especially dangerous because they can literally be made at home with plastic parts and by using new 3-D printers. These homemade weapons can be a path to gun ownership for people who are a danger to themselves or others, including felons, people with mental illnesses, those who convicted of domestic violence and others who are not supposed to be armed with deadly firearms.”
“Anyone can make a gun at home and with untraceable parts we don’t know where the weapon came from or where it is going,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “It makes it harder to investigate gun crimes and to prevent the illegal distribution and use of firearms.”
Senator Cryan worked with “March for Our Lives,” a student-led group promoting gun safety, to organize a march in Union County to bring attention to the issue and to support the legislation here in New Jersey.
“Last year the youth of this country came together to tell our representatives we wanted action on ending gun violence and protecting our lives,” said Colin Sumner, chair of Union County March for Our Lives. “We wanted a voice here in Union County and Senator Joe Cryan gave us a platform to be heard.”
“Senator Cryan promised us last March he would lead the charge to ending gun violence,” added Isabella Soares, student organizer for UC March of Our Lives, “As the sponsor of the strongest law in the nation on 3-D printing, today he is making good on his commitment.”
The law will criminalize both purchasing separately or as a kit any combination of parts from which an untraceable firearm may be readily assembled. It would make the purchase of firearm parts to illegally manufacture an untraceable firearm a third degree crime, punishable by a three-to-five year term of incarceration, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.