This month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a broad ban on so-called “Ghost Guns” (which we have covered previously).  In a press release he stated:
 
“Ghost guns can be created by anyone with a computer and access to a 3D printer, giving the public at large the ability to build their own unregistered, unsafe, and untraceable firearm. Now, thanks to the Legislative sponsors who worked to quickly make this bill a reality, kits to assemble ghost guns will no longer be allowed in New Jersey.”
 
Here is the “Renzulli Run Down” of what you need to know about the New Jersey law: 

  • Purchasing or obtaining a firearm frame or receiver without an imprinted serial number is a crime of the third degree in New Jersey.
  • Purchasing or obtaining any combination of parts that together can make a firearm without a serial number is a crime of the third degree in New Jersey.
  • Using a 3D printer to manufacture or produce a firearm, receiver, magazine, or firearm component is a crime of the third degree in New Jersey.
  • Distributing design files to a person in New Jersey for the manufacture or production of a firearm, receiver, magazine, or firearm component using a 3D printer is a crime of the third degree.

These restrictions do not apply to a registered or licensed firearm manufacturer.  It is also already a crime in New Jersey for anyone who is not a registered or licensed firearm manufacturer to assemble or manufacture a firearm, but these new regulations specifically state that any sentence imposed is in addition to any other crime, and the crimes do not “merge.”  Under New Jersey law, a crime of the third degree is a felony that carries a prison term of 3-5 years and a monetary fine of up to $15,000.
 
The topic of 3D printed firearms has been a hot legal topic recently.  You can find our take on some recent decisions about the topic here.  New Jersey’s law will likely face opposition in the courts and will involve not only weighing State and Federal rights, but also First Amendment challenges to the ban, particularly as it relates to the distribution of information.  If and when such a challenge happens, you will hear about it from the team here at Renzulli Law Firm as we continue to offer the “Renzulli Run Down.”
 
We will continue to monitor legal and legislative developments that impact the industry.  For questions about the New Jersey law, or laws and regulations across the United States, please contact John Renzulli ([email protected]) or Chris Renzulli ([email protected]).