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Madden/Cunningham Bills Would Clarify Specifics Of ‘One Handgun A Month’ Law And Outline Task Force Recommendations

TRENTON – Senators Fred H. Madden and Sandra Bolden Cunningham recently introduced two measures designed to clarify some of the specifics of the current “One Handgun a Month” law, which prohibits the sale of more than one handgun per person, within a 30 day period. The bills would implement recommendations from the initial report of the Governor’s Firearms Advisory Task Force.

The Task Force was created by Executive Order on June 25, 2009 – the day the “One Handgun a Month” bill was approved by the Legislature. The bill was signed into law on August 5, 2009.

“These bills are designed to take some of the recommendations of the Task Force, and clearly outline the circumstances under which a person would be exempt from the one-handgun-a-month limitation said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester, a former State Trooper. “As the Vice Chair of the Task Force, we found a few issues that could have caused potential problems, and these bills would clarify the provisions of the ‘One Handgun a Month’ law, without compromising the intent or effectiveness of the original legislation.”

One measure, S-3068, sponsored by Senators Cunningham and Madden, would highlight that certain transfers of handguns are not subject to the current “One Handgun a Month” law. These transfers would include sales among licensed retail dealers, wholesale dealers and registered manufacturers. The bill would also permit transfers of handguns from any gun owner to a licensed retailer, registered wholesale dealer or manufacturer.

A second measure, S-3104, sponsored by Senator Madden, would authorize certain need-based exemptions to the one-handgun-a-month requirement. The bill responds to people who need to buy multiple handguns from an estate or inheritance, for a collection, and for competitive or recreational purposes. Anyone seeking an exemption would need to apply to the State Police. Applicants would also be required to outline their justification for their request for more than one handgun a month.

“Under the bill, one example of a justified need would be a handgun collector who comes across a collectors’ set that contains multiple handguns and must be purchased in its entirety,” the Senators said. “The need for the ‘One Handgun a Month’ bill is real, but we don’t want to affect the livelihood of good business-owners who make legal transactions.”

“The goal of the ‘One Handgun a Month’ bill was never to prevent licensed, responsible handgun owners from buying handguns. In fighting to end the illegal practice of straw handgun purchasing, some qualified, licensed buyers were confused by the legislation,” said Senator Cunningham, D-Hudson, who sponsored the original “One Handgun a Month” bill. “These bills clarify exemptions to the current law, and ensure that those with a legitimate need to buy more than one handgun a month are able to do so.”

These bills now head to the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee for consideration.


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