Landmark legislation recently passed the New Jersey Assembly and is making its way to through the State Senate.
The bill is named after a Jersey City police officer who was killed in the line of duty five years ago.
The law would outlaw the use of a defaced or stolen firearm for the purposes of injuring a police officer
The bill—which was sponsored by Charles Mainor, Gordon Johnson, Benjie Wimberly, and Raj Mukherji—passed by a 79-0 vote.
It would also toughen the penalties for defacing a firearm or owning a defaced firearm.
The bill has been dubbed “Marc Anthony’s Law.”
Marc Anthony DiNardo was a Jersey City Police Detective who died from injuries sustained during a shootout with suspected robbers in a Reed Street apartment building back in July 2009.
While the use of such force against a police officer—or any person—is already a crime, Marc Anthony’s Law (A-823) would create a new felony category for using a defaced or stolen firearm against a law enforcement officer.
A person charged with such a crime would also likely be facing aggravated assault and other charges.
Mr. Mukherji noted, “Police work is not for the faint of heart. We owe this common sense legislation to our officers and their families… This bill does nothing to infringe the rights of law abiding gun owners.”
He continued, “By upgrading these penalties, this bill sends a clear message to criminals—who are the only people with any use for a defaced or stolen firearm—that they should be ready to do hard time if they use such a firearm to put our law enforcement officers in harm’s way.”
Under the bill, the penalty for defacing a firearm is upgraded from a third degree crime to a second degree crime, which is punishable for a term of imprisonment between 5 and 10 years; a fine of up to $150,000; or both.
The penalty for acquiring or possessing a defaced firearm is upgraded from a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the third degree, which is punishable for a term of imprisonment between 3 and 5 years; a fine of up to $15,000; or both.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
If you recently were charged with a crime in New Jersey contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-815-3649.