New Jersey's 10th Legislative District

Senator Jim Holzapfel

Senator Jim Holzapfel

Senate Passes Holzapfel Legislation to Encourage Proper Storage of Firearms

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

The New Jersey Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that increases penalties for leaving a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor, resulting in injury or death.

Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) talking to News 12 on September 22, 2014, prior to the Senate’s approval of his legislation (S-516) that would increase penalties for leaving loaded firearms within easy access of a minor, resulting in injury or death. (

“In my hometown of Toms River, a four-year-old shot and killed his six-year-old neighbor with one of the many loaded firearms his father left unsecured around his home within reach of the young child,” said Holzapfel. “As a former prosecutor, gun owner and supporter of the Second Amendment, I find it unconscionable that some gun owners could be so irresponsible. As long as the penalty remains a virtual slap on the wrist for gun owners in these instances, we will continue to read about these tragedies.”

Under current law, a gun owner is only subject to a disorderly persons offense if a loaded firearm that was not reasonably stored is accessed by a child resulting in injury or death.

Under Holzapfel’s legislation, S-516, the penalty would increase for an adult gun owner from a disorderly person’s offense to a fourth-degree crime if a child’s access to the firearm results in bodily injury. The penalty would increase to a third-degree crime if a child’s access to the firearm results in serious bodily injury or death.

“This legislation doesn’t change the standard for how guns owners must store their firearms under state law or the right to self-defense, nor does it remove the element of prosecutorial discretion that exists under current law to determine if the owner made reasonable efforts to secure their weapon,” added Holzapfel. “It makes clear, however, that if a gun owner fails to reasonably secure their firearm from a child, and that failure results in someone being injured or killed, the gun owner is guilty of more than just a disorderly person offense.”

The Senate approved the legislation in a 31-6 vote.

Similar Posts on

Leave a Comment:

Comment Rules: Please remain civil, stay on topic, and refrain from using foul or abusive language. Posts that violate those rules may be hidden or deleted, and repeated violators may be blocked. To prevent spam, comments with links are automatically filtered.

District 10 Guide

Jim Holzapfel

Jim's Bio & Public Service

Constituent Services

Jim Can Help You!

Contact Jim

Jim Wants to Hear from You!

District 10

About the Legislative District

Email Updates

Sign Up for Jim's Newsletter


Follow Jim's Page


Students - Get Involved

Legislative Activity

Committees, Bills & Votes


Tweet @jimholzapfel

Jim's Recent Posts

- Proudly Serving Parts of Ocean County -