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Friday, November 16, 2007

Sen. Turner proposes gun-marking bill

State Senator Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, has proposed new legislation that would require New Jersey gun manufacturers to brand weapons produced here in such a way that each bullet fired would have distinct markings, which could aid law enforcement officials investigating gun crime.

The bill would go into effect 13 months after passage, pending attorney general review, and manufacturers would then be required to use a laser to "microstamp" the firing pins of each weapon, making the gun's serial number and sale information that much easier to determine during criminal investigations.

"Every shot fired would be instantly traceable to the gun from which it was fired," said Sen. Turner in a statement in today's Times. "Hopefully gangbangers will think twice before pulling the trigger, but if not, then we have another tool to help police track down the gun used and the shooter."

While the new law would help in tracking guns manufactured in New Jersey, it would do little for weapons from out of state, which tend to make up nearly 40 percent of those used in crime in counties near the Pennsylvania border, like Sen. Turner's Mercer County.

Pennsylvania's gun laws are much more lenient than those of the Garden State, and for violent criminals in cities like Trenton and Camden, Pennsylvania handguns are little more than a hop, skip, and jump away.

Until Pennsylvania enacts stricter gun control laws New Jersey will be hard-pressed to see a reduction in the violent crime involving firearms that is plaguing our urban areas.

1 comment:

Old Mill Hill said...

Excellent point...New Jersey can tighten up all it wants, but as long as neighboring states like Pennsylvania have less stringent gun ownership requirements, it is of little use.