In a new study released by the Brady Campaign, an organization dedicated to the prevention of gun violence, New Jersey was ranked as the third-strictest state in terms of laws concerning gun control.
The study compared all 50 states, giving each state a rating based on its gun control laws. New Jersey was bestowed an “A” grade by the organization, ranking third overall behind California and Connecticut.
The Brady Campaign also calculated the number of gun-related fatalities in each state, and New Jersey ranked fifth in terms of the fewest number of gun-related deaths.
When compared with results from the 2011 report, New Jersey declined in the rankings, as Connecticut imposed stricter gun control laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut made national headlines.
Since the last Brady Campaign study was conducted, New Jersey legislators enacted more than 12 new laws related to gun control, although a few key measures were vetoed by Governor Chris Christie during that time.
One of New Jersey’s gun laws concerns illegal possession of a handgun, which is governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b) and can be considered a crime of the second or third degree. Illegal possession of a handgun is typically classified as a second degree crime, which is punishable by a term of incarceration of between five (5) and 10 years in NJ State Prison. This crime also has a presumption of incarceration, which means that even if a defendant has no prior criminal record, it is presumed that he or she will receive a state prison sentence.
Illegal possession of a handgun is also governed under the Graves Act, which imposes a mandatory prison sentence along with a period of parole ineligibility.
When illegal handgun possession is classified as a third degree crime, typically in cases involving BB guns, Airsoft guns, and the like, those convicted are subject to a term of incarceration of between three (3) and five (5) years in state prison. These crimes are also governed under the Graves Act, necessitating the aforementioned mandatory sentence and period of parole ineligibility.
It is clear that gun-related offenses are considered extremely serious in New Jersey, hence the state’s notable ranking as one of the strictest in the nation in terms of gun control policy.
For more information related to this matter, access the following link: New Jersey’s gun laws ranked third strictest in the nation.