Assembly Committee Advances Weinberg/Beck Bill Inspired by Gabby Giffords to Expand Domestic Violence Protections
The Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee has approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), and inspired by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, to enhance protections for victims of domestic violence.
The proposal, S-2483, restricts access to firearms by certain persons subject to restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence offenses, and provides a clear and supervised process for the immediate surrender of firearms.
“This legislation closes loopholes by ensuring that when firearms must be surrendered due to conviction or restraining order, there are no gaps where the person still has access to their guns or the ability to cause additional harm,” said Beck. “If a person poses such a risk to another that a restraining order is necessary, their guns should be surrendered immediately.”
Our laws have failed to protect too many victims of domestic violence. S-2483 is proof that we can do better. https://t.co/FbJgqXfVsw
— Sen. Jennifer Beck (@jenbecknj) October 6, 2016
The legislation is supported by Giffords, the Co-Founder of the gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Some key components of the legislation:
- Provides a process for the immediate surrender of firearms by a defendant post-conviction;
- Establishes that when a final restraining order (FRO) or a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring the surrender of firearms is served, a law enforcement officer will escort the subject to the location of their stored firearms to effectuate surrender;
- An order to surrender firearms will include notification of potential penalties for failure to comply with the order; and
- Enhanced penalties for domestic violence offenders, including maximum penalties for second and subsequent offenses of third or fourth degree domestic violence crimes.
“We’ve seen too many instances where our laws have failed to protect the victims of domestic violence,” added Beck. “This legislation is proof that we can do better.”
The legislation was approved by the New Jersey Senate on August 1st in a 32-0 vote.