From the Assembly: Working for a Safer New Jersey

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This month we, alongside our Assembly colleagues, returned to the Legislature following a summer recess. The break gave us time to re-focus and brainstorm on what new legislation we want to propose and sponsor, and what issues are most important to our Monmouth County residents.

An issue that is always at the forefront for us and for so many residents and legislators is preserving the safety and security of our communities. With the impressive work of all involved in the capture of the New York/New Jersey bomber, and the stellar response of local law enforcement during those incidents, we are reminded that we must all we can to support our police officers by giving them the tools and knowledge they need to keep our residents safe.

That is why we have introduced legislation that would require all newly manufactured handguns sold in New Jersey by licensed retail firearms deals to take advantage of micro-stamping technology. Micro-stamping is a laser technology that can engrave or etch identifying characters or letters onto small objects. In the case of a firearm, these characters would be imprinted on each cartridge case when the gun is fired. Each gun would utilize a unique array of characters, enabling law enforcement to identify the make, model, and serial number of any handgun just by looking at the cartridge case.

Our bill would also require licensed firearms dealers in New Jersey to report their handgun sales to the State Police. The Superintendent of State Police will then be able to establish and maintain this information in a database, one that will be accessible to every law enforcement agency in the state. The ability to trace a fired handgun cartridge all the way back to a firearm and its owner would be a fantastic boon to local law enforcement, and help crack down on unsolved gun crimes in New Jersey. Though the bill would only apply to newly manufactured handguns, over time the benefit of this legislation would only increase. As of now, the bill has been advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, and we look forward to seeing it come up for a vote from the full Assembly.

This is only one of several common-sense gun control initiatives we are sponsoring. We will continue to fight for sensible reforms, and we will continue to explore new and innovative ways to support the efforts of our fantastic local law enforcement. We welcome the insight and the ideas from our constituents as we work hand-in-hand for a safer New Jersey and a safer Monmouth County.

This op-ed can be read in full in the October 6 edition of The Coaster

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