Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

New Jersey sued, accused of ignoring 2002 gun law

TRENTON - A national gun control group sued New Jersey on Monday, claiming that the state has failed to comply with its own 12-year-old law regarding guns that contain technology allowing them to be fired only by their owners.

The lawsuit, by the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and a local chapter of the Million Mom March accuses the state Attorney General's Office of failing to comply with the 2002 law regarding personalized handguns, often called smart guns.

Under the law, three years after smart guns become available anywhere in the country, all guns sold in New Jersey will have to use the technology. The law also requires the attorney general to submit a report to the governor and the Legislature every six months on the availability of smart guns.

According to the lawsuit, public records requests filed with the Attorney General's Office by the Million Mom March have revealed that no reports were filed between at least 2004 and 2012.

The lawsuit, citing published reports, claims that at least two gun retailers, one in Maryland and one in California, have received smart guns from manufacturers for sale to the public. It's seeking compliance with the law.

"We're not seeking the court to force the mandate to kick in," said John Lowy, head of the Brady Campaign's legal action project. "The suit is very straightforward: New Jersey law requires the attorney general to report on the availability of personal handgun technology, and that law hasn't been complied with for 10 years. It's particularly important now because there's evidence that personalize handguns have been available for sale in at least two locations."

The Attorney General's Office declined to comment on Monday, citing the pending litigation.

New Jersey, with some of the strictest gun laws in the country, has been the venue for numerous fights over gun rights in recent years. This month, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to a state requirement that gun owners demonstrate justifiable needs to carry firearms in public. Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the number of rounds in ammunition magazines.

Associated Press
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