CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, February 15, 2007

State Commission Urges NJ to Close Ammo Loophole for Ex-Cons

From state Commission of Investigation called yesterday for legislation to close a "patently ridiculous" loophole that allows ex-convicts to purchase ammunition in New Jersey even though they cannot legally own a firearm.

The recommendation is among nine issued by the agency following a probe that found dozens of instances in which criminals with rap sheets for everything from assault ing police officers to rape legally purchased ammunition for guns they could not lawfully own.

"While New Jersey maintains some of the most stringent and restrictive laws in the United States governing the purchase and sale of handguns, the trade in actual bullets -- the very projectiles that make firearms lethal -- remains a wide-open, unregulated bazaar," commissioners wrote in a report on the issue. "It is patently ridiculous, shocking even."

The SCI's report recommended closing the loophole by requiring consumers who want to purchase ammunition to show they have a valid state firearms permit and that the gauge of the ammo matches the caliber of the handgun they own. Buyers can currently display any form of identification to establish proof-of-age -- 21 for handgun ammo and 18 for long- gun ammo.

The commission also suggested those permits be renewed every three years and include digital photographs and firearm serial numbers. In addition, it recommended tightening ammunition sales in stores; regulating mail-order and Internet sales; and strengthening criminal penalties for unlawful am munition sales, purchases and pos session. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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