TRENTON – The Senate today approved by a vote of 36 to 1, a measure sponsored by Senator Steve Sweeney, which would increase the cost of permits for manufacturing, selling, transporting or using explosives under the “Explosives Act.”
“The ‘Explosives Act’ wasn’t aimed at targeting people who use fireworks during Independence Day parties or other celebrations, but instead it was meant to help stop would-be terrorists from using explosives to carry out their destructive plans,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “This measure upgrades permit costs and penalties under the ‘Act’ to send a clear message that we are serious about stopping terrorism, and that we will do everything possible to keep explosives out of the hands criminals and other people who plan to use them to do harm.”
Senator Sweeney’s bill, S-2055, would amend current law to double the current maximum permit amounts charged for manufacturing (currently $1,000) , selling (currently $300) , storing ( currently $750) or using (currently $200) explosives.
The bill would also increase penalties for using, manufacturing, selling or storing explosives without the necessary permits. Fines would range from a minimum of $100 for a first offense to $100,000, the maximum for third and subsequent offenses.
“The current permit and fine amounts have been in place since 1998. The world has changed significantly in the past eight years, and the penalties for incompliance when dealing with explosives should be reflective of those changes,” Senator Sweeney said.
This measure now heads to the Assembly for approval.