What the New Gun Violence Law Could Actually Mean to You
As New Jersey residents ring in 2019, it’s critical to know that some new laws come into effect. The Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018 offers some protections as far as gun violence that could concern some gun owners. And, yes, it applies to those who legally possess or seek to own firearms in New Jersey.
As you may know, current laws allow for a few types of protection orders when it comes to violent acts. For example, an individual could apply for a domestic violence restraining order in some circumstances. One caveat. This means meeting certain relationship criteria when it comes to identification as a domestic violence victim.
In the meantime, the courts also recognize sexual assault as a violent act. Under the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA), judges may grant restraining orders designed to protect sexual assault victims against future harm.
The idea of protection orders designed to circumvent gun violence varies from state to state. Some categorize them as “red flag” laws, while others consider them gun violence restraining orders. If you’re a gun owner or plan to purchase firearms, you need to know how this new law potentially affects you.
Gun Violence Protective Orders
The new gun violence protective order does not go into effect until September of this year. However, you should understand its provisions.
Consider this example. You are legally in possession of a firearm and are in a depressed state. One day you are chatting with your work buddies, and you admit that the job is what’s getting you down. Half-jokingly, you remind your friends you keep a gun at home for self-protection. Under your breath, you even suggest you’d love to come in and use the place for target practice.
Under the new law, it is conceivable for one of your co-workers to go directly to court and petition for a temporary extreme risk protective order. After all, it would appear that “you pose a significant danger of bodily injury to self or others by having custody or control of, owning, possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.”
Although your comment may have been totally in jest, the court will most likely put the temporary order in place. This means you must turn over your guns and will not have them returned to you unless you can prove that you do not pose a legitimate risk to yourself or others. In case you didn’t notice, this is contrary to the usual presumption of innocence.
Meanwhile, there are other considerations written into the new law. It’s not just that you are forced to turn over weapons currently in your custody. You cannot purchase new ones or even legally possess ammunition.
What happens with the surrendered guns? First, they must be turned over to an authorized law enforcement agency. If you decide you do not want them back or are no longer eligible to own them, they can be sold, or title transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer.
There are time limitations concerning the disposition of guns and ammunition after the expiration or termination of the extreme risk protective order. After one year, the law enforcement agency holding the guns may destroy them.
As the year progresses, you may find yourself facing charges under the Extreme Risk Protective Order Act. Have questions? Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to schedule an appointment. Our office has decades of experience assisting clients facing gun and weapons charges.