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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two New Measures Could Make N.J. Slightly Less Unfriendly To Gun Owners

Two measures in the N.J. Assembly would help eliminate excessive penalties for out-of-state visitors who unknowingly run afoul of New Jersey’s onerous anti-gun policies.

While the state Attorney General’s office already gives prosecutors the authority not to seek mandatory minimum sentences against non-residents accused of breaking New Jersey’s firearm possession laws, one measure would codify these guidelines in state law—helping those charged with minor firearms possession cases avoid jail time. The second measure would do away with the three-and-a-half-year mandatory minimum sentence for illegally carrying a gun altogether. Both measures will be outlined Tuesday. 

Minority Leader Jon Bramnick says the measures stem from recent cases in which otherwise law-abiding out-of-state visitors have been faced with lengthy jail sentences—including Carlo Bellario, charged with second-degree possession for carrying a pellet gun while starring in an independent movie; and Brian Fletcher, who, while making repairs after a storm, was arrested after notifying officers of his legally-owned firearm.