Acting NJ Attorney General Hoffman Needs to Follow NJ Law on “Smart Gun” Technology | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Acting NJ Attorney General Hoffman Needs to Follow NJ Law on “Smart Gun” Technology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 27, 2014 Contact: NJ Million Mom March: Carole Stiller, 609-462-6469, mercermmm [at] gmail [dot] com or Brady Campaign: Jennifer Fuson, 202-370-8128, Jfuson [at] bradymail [dot] org

NJ Million Mom March, Brady Send Letter to Urge Enforcement of NJ “Smart Gun” Law

Trenton, NJ – Today advocates from the New Jersey Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are demanding that Acting Attorney General John Hoffman follow New Jersey’s landmark personalized gun law, which could eventually require safety technology for all handguns sold in New Jersey. A letter was formally sent today demanding that the AG's office promptly report on personalized gun technology, as the law requires.

Under current law, the state’s attorney general must release semi-annual reports determining whether user-authorized handguns, sometimes called “smart guns,” are available on the market. Once they become available, all handguns available for sale in New Jersey must comply with “smart gun” technology within three years. Last week, Brady confirmed “smart guns” made by Armatix were offered for sale near Los Angeles, California. The availability of such guns for sale could trigger the New Jersey Personalized Handgun Law, passed in 2002, that prohibits the sale of non-personalized handguns in New Jersey when they become available. According to the state, since 2003 the AG’s office has issued only one of the reports it is required by NJ law to issue every six months, and it is unable to locate a copy of that report.

“This life-saving law was passed as a result of moms in New Jersey fighting to include feasible safety features in guns sold in New Jersey. Unfortunately, the NJ Attorney General’s office has not followed the law requiring it to report on personalized gun technology, and we are demanding that the office do so today,” said Carole Stiller, President of the New Jersey Million Mom March Chapters. “Personalized handguns will keep guns from being fired by a child, a suicidal teenager, or a thief who steals one from a law-abiding gun owner,” added Stiller.

“There are children who would be alive today if the gun industry hadn’t refused to make guns safer, or invest in safety technology, like every other industry does,” said Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Legal Action Project. “New Jersey’s law can change the way guns are made in this country, putting people ahead of profits. This will save lives of gun owners and non-gun owners alike.” The smart gun legislation came about when Million Mom March and Ceasefire NJ joined forces in 1999 and convinced a bi-partisan coalition of elected officials in the state to encourage gun companies to include strong safety measures in their gun technology. “After waiting 15 years for a manufacturer to make the product available, the New Jersey Million Mom March now wants to ensure that the state of New Jersey complies with the law,” said Stiller.

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