New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

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Our friends at Ammoland, who are based in the gun rights hell that is New Jersey, have uncovered what appears to be a little-known aspect of a gun control law that passed and was signed into law last June. They’ve just published an article by attorney Evan Nappen who has read the law closely and discovered that — intentionally or not — it’s actually the biggest gun ban ever enacted in these here United States.

The bill was ostensibly intended to outlaw firearms without serial numbers. It outlawed homemade guns, 3D printed guns, even possession of the files for running a 3D printer or CNC machine for making firearms. It even outlawed slingshots, fer Chrissakes.

Banned in New Jersey (Shutterstock)

Like so many laws that are enacted at all levels of government, this one was poorly written. And as a result, it’s incredibly broad.

I talked to Mr. Nappen this afternoon and he tells me the law is quite clear that for a firearm to be legal in New Jersey, it has to have a serial number and the serial number must have been imprinted by a federally licensed firearm manufacturer.

That means your Daisy BB gun — which under the state’s idiotic laws is considered a firearm — may have a serial number on it, but Daisy isn’t a federally licensed gun maker. As a result that Red Ryder in your kid’s closet now makes you a felon.

The implications, however, are far wider than that. Think of every pre-1968 firearm owned by New Jersey residents. The Garand that Gramps brought home from the war in Europe? Felony. The duck gun that your uncle bought in 1955 and left to you in his will…you’re now a felon.

Under the state’s God-awful gun laws, air guns, pellet guns, CO2 guns, muzzleloaders and black powder guns are all considered firearms. If they don’t have serial numbers that were imprinted by a federally licensed gun maker, they’re illegal. Technically that Canik TP9 that’s made in a factory in Turkey…but now one that’s federally licensed by the US government…is also banned. Yeah.

cva muzzleloader
Banned in New Jersey (courtesy CVA)

Nappen tells us that the law criminalizes the possession, sale, transport and even the disposal of guns outlawed under the law. That means a local gun store that has unserialized airsoft guns, muzzle loaders, or pre-1968 firearms for sale in their used gun counter have also committed a felony. And it will be another crime if they try to dispose of them.

From Nappen’s article at Ammoland . . .

There are NO exceptions and there is NO grandfathering. This was the largest gun ban ever passed in the history of the United States.

The law bans ALL firearms with a “…firearm frame or firearm receiver …which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer…”

The term “firearm frame or firearm receiver” means the part of a firearm that provides housing for the internal components.

It won’t necessarily be easy to tell what guns are legal and what guns aren’t, either.

Determining whether your firearm was made by a federally licensed manufacturer is difficult and will require research of each specific firearm. Of course, some guns are obviously made by U.S. licensed manufacturers, such as Smith & Wesson, Colt, Ruger, Winchester, Remington, etc. Many other firearms, particularly those that were imported, might or might not have federal manufacturing licenses for other models of guns that they make.

Read Nappen’s full article at Ammoland here.

I asked Nappen if he thinks it’s more likely that this is the result of ignorant people writing laws to cover products they know nothing about and don’t understand…or if it was intentionally written as vaguely as possible to make life hell for the state’s gun owners.

Banned in New Jersey

He tells me that as famously ignorant as legislators are, he “no longer gives New Jersey lawmakers the benefit of the doubt because they’re patently against freedom.” He said they rushed this law through the legislative process and the effect is pretty clear. “They have no understanding of current gun laws.”

So far, no law enforcement agency has tried to enforce any of this. That’s likely because they have no idea what the full implications of what’s been passed really are. But it’s important to let millions of law-abiding gun owners who live in the Garden State know that thanks to the government they elected and continue to vote for, they’re now felons. The only question is which ones will be the first to be prosecuted and will be “lucky” enough to become test cases.

Again, read Nappen’s article over at Ammoland. And count your lucky stars you don’t live in New Jersey.

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