Houghtaling & Downey Propose Commonsense Handgun Ammunition Regulations

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A bill package sponsored by Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey would enact commonsense regulations on handgun ammunition purchases, including requiring photo identification for purchases and requiring electronic reporting of ammunition sales. The legislation is based on recommendations from the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation follow-up report, issued in November of 2016, entitled “Armed and Dangerous -- Ten Years Later.”

“There can never be one single solution that will end gun violence in our state, but these commonsense measures take us one step closer to ending the real-life tragedies that touch our communities,” said Downey (D-Monmouth), “We have to start somewhere, and these bills build upon a decade’s worth of research and recommendations that can make our communities safer.”

The first bill (A-4736) would requires a purchaser to produce photo identification in addition to a firearms license when purchasing handgun ammunition. The second bill (A-4739) would require electronic reporting of handgun ammunition sales, to be maintained by the Superintendent of State Police. Both measures are aimed at cracking down on “straw purchases,” a practice whereby individuals use another person’s firearms permit to purchase guns or ammunition.

“Tracking ammunition sales enables law enforcement to determine the difference between law-abiding gun owners and those who might be illegally purchasing ammunition for stockpiles or for violent means,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “Law enforcement officials have long said they would like to do more to track and investigate these straw purchases of ammunition, and these regulations would give them the tools they need to do so.”

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