Gun Lawyer Episode 140
firearm, new jersey, attorney general, serial number, gun, law, great, guidelines, guns, gun ban, cmp, gun owners, state, association, lawyer, manufacturer, federal law, importers, addressed, m1 garand
Speaker 3, Evan Nappen
Evan Nappen 00:00
Hi, I’m Evan Nappen, and welcome to Gun Lawyer. We have got great news, great news for New Jersey gun owners. We have a huge win in New Jersey. It is great, and it was done following The Art of War, as per Sun Tzu, The Art of War, the art of fighting without fighting. We were able to get the Attorney General in New Jersey to address all the issues that were raised in the NSN gun ban, the NSN (No Serial Number) gun ban, that ended up banning literally millions of guns and having probably just as many gun owners facing Second Degree felony level offenses, up to 10 years in State Prison for their possession of guns via this absurd ban.
Evan Nappen 01:21
Just to refresh your memory, the NSN (No Serial Number) gun ban prohibited firearms possession, transport, and sale of any gun that did not have both of the following factors. Number one, every gun has to have a serial number, and number two, the serial number has to be placed on there by a federally licensed manufacturer. Well, there was no exemption for pre-1968 guns, and no serial numbers were required under federal law prior to ’68. So, as one of our listeners, if you may recall we did a show on this, he inherited his grandfather’s .22, purchased at Sears in the ’50s. And guess what? No serial number. Now he’s facing a felony if they caught him with it. Felony level charges, outrageous. Additionally, the No Serial Number gun ban prohibited a firearm, needs to be a firearm, without a serial number put on by a federally licensed manufacturer. And guess what? Air guns under Jersey law are firearms, and air gun companies are not firearm manufacturers, at least the overwhelming majority of them aren’t. So, even if you had a Daisy with a serial number, it was not a serial number placed on it by federally licensed manufacturers. You’re Daisy is now contraband in New Jersey, and you’re looking at 10 years in State Prison for possessing your Daisy BB gun. Black powder firearms are prohibited. Antique firearms – all prohibited. Because they weren’t serial numbers. And they weren’t federal manufacturers. Then, of course, any gun that was an import, that was lawfully imported, even if it had a serial number, but it wasn’t a federally licensed manufacturer. So, it just created havoc. Millions of guns were banned by this No Serial Number gun ban that was so poorly written, and it was a great concern. I spoke about it on the show, and I wrote an article about it. I’m sure many of you read about it, and you’re aware of it, if you follow the show, just how serious and what a terrible problem this was and how it put in jeopardy so many people and their guns. Page – 2 – of 8
Evan Nappen 03:54
Well, now we have great news. The great news is that the Attorney General just released guidelines, clarifying the NSN gun ban, making it clear that all these concerns have been addressed and that legal gun owners do not have to fear. Let me tell you this came about because of the good work by the state Association, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, who is a sponsor of this show and the excellent work by my friend and colleague, Dan Schmutter, who negotiated this with the Attorney General. I assisted Dan and gave him plenty of input. We brainstorm these things together. And I’m happy to report that working with Dan and with Scott Bach, Executive Director of the Association, all this was able to come together so that the state Association was able to deliver to New Jersey gun owners, a victory with no expense of litigation. Now, there was a threat of litigation, that is true. But we were able to accomplish the objectives of protecting law-abiding citizens without having to go to war. As you may know from Sun Tzu or maybe you’ve watched Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, the art of fighting without fighting. That is what it was. Because we didn’t have to go to war, and we accomplished a victory.
Evan Nappen 05:42
Let me explain to you and read to you the actual guidelines. You may have trouble finding them because the guidelines themselves have not yet been posted on the Attorney General website. I’m sure they will eventually. But they have gone out to all County Prosecutors, all County Sheriff’s, all Police Chiefs, and all Law Enforcement Executives. So, these guys are all law enforcement, and these guidelines come directly from the Attorney General. Now, if you’d like to get a copy of these guidelines, what you do is go to the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs website, anjrpc.org. You really need to be a member. You really should be a member. I’ve told you, and this is why. This is the kind of great work they do. Go to the website and look at their Alert section on the website. You’ll see that this has been an alert, and it’s been put out. The alert is entitled “New Jersey Attorney General Issues Guidance Resolving Unintended Consequences of “Ghost Gun” Law. In that alert is a link that you can click and download your very own copy of the Attorney General guidelines that we’re going to talk about and review right now. If you have any fear because you have any of these guns, download a copy of these guidelines and keep them with your papers because it makes it crystal clear that you are safe and legal with these guns.
Evan Nappen 07:23
So, the guidelines came out of the Attorney General office. They went to all prosecutors, sheriffs, chiefs and law enforcement chief executives, and it’s specifically addressed as follows. I’ll skip the technical and go right to the meat of it, and I’m quoting from the guidelines.
Evan Nappen 07:43
“There has been some question as to (1) the meaning of ‘a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled using a firearm frame or firearm receiver . . . which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer,’ as used in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(n) and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(n), and (2) whether it may be read as extending to various categories of firearms that are not required by federal law to bear a registered serial number, including: Firearm that use air, carbon dioxide, or springs to expel a projectile, such as pellet or ‘BB’ guns; Antique firearms; and Firearms manufactured before 1968, when federal law first began requiring that firearms be imprinted with Page – 3 – of 8
individual serial numbers. Given this ambiguity, there is a concern that the law could be inconsistently applied with regard to the possession, transportation, shipment, sale, or other disposition of those firearms. To address this concern, it is appropriate for the Division of Criminal Justice to provide guidance to ensure that the law is administered uniformly and effectively throughout the State. (N.J.S.A. 52:17B-98) A copy of these guidelines may be provided to any member of the public who requests information regarding firearms that are not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer.”
Evan Nappen 09:25
They then go on to state exactly what is and is not covered. They say, “Consistent with the underlying purposes (of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(n) and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(n)) to prevent the proliferation of unregistered and untraceable firearms (‘ghost guns’) . . .” Ooh, ghost guns. Everyone running hide. “These subsections prohibit the knowing possession, transportation, shipment, sale, or other disposition of a firearm that is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer. These prohibitions on conduct involving firearms that do not bear a serial number must be ‘construed to the fair import of their terms . . .” Laying this groundwork now the Attorney General then says, and here’s a quote. “Pursuant to federal law,” so the Attorney General of New Jersey is now citing federal law, title 18 U.S.C. 923(i). I quote, “‘[l]icensed importers and licensed manufacturers shall identify, by means of a serial number engraved or cast on the receiver or frame of the weapon, in such manner as the Attorney General shall by regulations prescribe, each firearm imported or manufactured by such importer or manufacturer.’ With limited exemptions, federal regulation requires ‘licensed manufacturers and licensed importers of firearms [to] legibly identify each firearm they manufacture or import’ with an individual serial number. Significantly, the definition of a ‘firearm’ is more limited under federal law than it is under New Jersey law, and includes only. . .” Oh yeah, big shock there. Of course, it’s more limited. New Jersey law includes black powder, air guns, all that stuff. They then quote the federal law, and this is interesting because now the Attorney General of New Jersey is relying on federal law to define a New Jersey law, which might be handy in other cases as well. It’s something to consider.
Evan Nappen 11:28
But here’s what it says. “(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm. ” Now, the Attorney General does put a footnote here making something clear that’s extremely important. Because I know many of you worried, hey, what about my imported gun that I bought legally from a dealer that has a serial number but isn’t by a federal manufacturer? Like if you own a CZ or Canik or some other imported firearm which they don’t make in the U.S.? Am I covered by this? The Attorney General’s footnote is important. It says, “1 For purposes of this guidance, consistent with the cited federal law and regulation, the reference to ‘federally licensed manufacturer’ in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(n) and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(n) shall be deemed to include federally licensed importers.” So, the Attorney General has said that the term in New Jersey’s law “federally licensed manufacturer”, they are deeming to include federally licensed importers. This now covers all the imported guns and the concerns that we all had about that. It says further in the guidelines. “Accordingly, federal law does not require firearms that use air, carbon dioxide, or springs to expel a projectile; . . .” as we consider BB guns, air guns etc., “antique firearms; and firearms manufactured prior to the date of 18 U.S.C. 923(i) to Page – 4 – of 8
be imprinted with an individual serial number. N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(n) and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(n) shall be enforced likewise.” Those Jersey laws, the NSN gun ban, shall be enforced likewise. In other words, the Attorney General has excluded all the problematic guns that suddenly became banned, millions of guns in New Jersey, jeopardizing millions of gun owners. The Attorney General guidelines make it clear that air guns, black powder, antique guns, and firearms made prior to 1968 and gun that came from foreign importers but lawfully brought in, with serial numbers, none of those guns are now prohibited by these laws. So, you can now rest assured based on that.
Evan Nappen 14:41
The Attorney General further states, in enforcing these laws, “prosecutors and police should remember that a violation of these subsections requires, respectively, that the defendant knowingly possessed or transported, shipped, sold, or otherwise disposed of a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled using a firearm frame or firearm receiver that is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer or importer of firearms despite being legally required to bear one. These guidelines shall be followed by all county prosecutors and all law enforcement officers in this State.” Folks, this is a huge win. It is a huge relief. It is top of the line work done by your gun organization, the key gun rights group in New Jersey, the Association New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. These are the kinds of results we want to see. Protecting gun owners. When we come back, I’m going to give you more detail on this and show you direct impact, direct impact on a listener that you’ll find fascinating.
Speaker 3 15:55
For over 30 years, Attorney Evan Nappen has seen what rotten laws do to good people. That’s why he’s dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of America’s gun owners. A fearsome courtroom litigator fighting for rights, justice, and freedom. An unrelenting gun rights spokesman tearing away at anti-gun propaganda to expose the truth. Author of six bestselling books on gun rights including Nappen on Gun Law, a bright orange gun law Bible that sits atop the desk of virtually every lawyer, police chief, firearms dealer, and savvy gun owner. That’s what made Evan Nappen America’s Gun Lawyer. Gun laws are designed to make you a criminal. Don’t become the innocent victim of a vicious anti-gun legal system. This is the guy you want on your side. Keep his name and number in your wallet and hope you never have to use it. But if you live, work, or travel with a firearm, that deck is already stacked against you. You can find him on the web at EvanNappen.com or follow the link on the Gun Lawyer resource page. Evan Nappen – America’s Gun Lawyer.
Speaker 3 17:09
You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcast.
Evan Nappen 17:24
Hey, welcome back to Gun Lawyer. I’m Evan Nappen. Thank you so much for joining me. We’re celebrating this wonderful news about the No Serial Number gun ban, which created havoc and threats of prosecution, threatening to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, and threatening to make New Jerseyans victims of gun laws. You hear the antis always talk about “gun violence”. But they never talked about victims of gun laws, instead of victim of gun violence, like you can distinguish it. Gun Page – 5 – of 8
violence is neither positive nor negative. Because gun violence is what we use when we defend ourselves with a firearm. What we’re opposed to is criminal violence. All of us are disgusted with criminal violence. But gun violence can be bad, or it can be good. But when you talk about victims of gun laws, well, that’s what New Jersey does.
Evan Nappen 18:35
Here in this victory, we protected gun owners from becoming victims of this law. At least now we have a solid defense from the Attorney General in promoting these guidelines, clarifying this, and ordering law enforcement to do the same. It is important to have an official statement like this because it actually falls under New Jersey law. Some of you may be surprised to learn that New Jersey has ignorance or mistake of law as a defense. Yes, it is. But it’s defined very specifically in terms of your ignorance of the law. If you rely on an official statement, then you have that as a defense. So, by relying on the Attorney General guidelines and if these guidelines are ever proven wrong or legally wrong, by relying on them, you still have a defense. Of course, law enforcement and prosecutors should follow these guidelines. But if some rogue prosecutor decided not to or some officer still decided to charge you, which shouldn’t happen, you have the defense of these guidelines. Let’s say some judge says, oh no, the Attorney General does not know what he’s talking about. It still applies. It does cover air guns or pre ’68 guns or whatever. You can raise as a defense, ignorance or mistake of law, because you can say, I relied on an official statement. I relied on these guidelines and that’s a defense for me.
Evan Nappen 20:13
So, it’s nice that this is here, and it’s really important that it is. And why do we have this great victory? Why? Why are we able to celebrate protecting gun owners from these ridiculous actions by the legislature? They don’t know what they’re doing when they put into effect these laws. They have no understanding of its impact, its dramatic impact, and how it can be abused. Why do we have this day to day to celebrate? Because of one of our sponsors, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. I mean, if there’s any example of why you need to join the Association, here you go. This is purely the work of your state association, your NRA affiliate, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. This victory belongs to them. That group, with the great leadership of Scott Bach, with the excellent leadership in the field of law of having my good friend and colleague, Dan Schmutter, dealing with it, and their ability to listen to the input that I had, which I really greatly appreciate. By putting that together and working through our state organization, we get a great result like this. So, show your appreciation, and make sure you belong to the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. If you did belong, you would have already gotten an alert with the guideline link, sent to you via email. Additionally, if you have membership in the Association, you’re going to be advised about legislative challenges and things you can do so we can keep fighting. You’re going to know about what’s going on in the courts with the things that the Association are litigating, as we speak about the carry law, and so-called assault firearm and large capacity magazine ban. There’s action taking place on all these things through your state association. So, make sure you are a member and stay on top of that.
Evan Nappen 22:26
Additionally, by the way, I’ll shamelessly plug my book right now. If you have my book, which is now the 25th Anniversary Edition of New Jersey Gun Law, where I explain the NSN gun ban, you would have received the update already. The update that is going out is free. When you get my book, there’s a QR Page – 6 – of 8
code right on the front. Scan it and subscribe for free to the Subscriber Portal. You’ll get instant emails that are going to come to you as soon as news breaks. As soon as there are any changes, within 24 hours, you’re going to have an alert from me. You’ll be able to go, for free, right onto the website, download the update to the book, and know what the law is currently. Know about these changes. The state association, my book and the updates, these are sources, just like Gun Lawyer is a source so that you can stay on top of this. You can have the edge as a New Jersey gun owner and that edge is knowledge, so you don’t become a victim of New Jersey gun laws. This is how you protect yourself. Get the book. Go to EvanNappen.com. Right to my website, EvanNappen.com, and order the book. It’s 516 pages with 120 topics all explained in question and answer. Scan that cover, join the Subscriber Portal, and get the updates for free. They are right there, and you can access it at any time. You’ll get alerts, and you can download all the updates anytime. It keeps your book current, 100% current. So, get the base book, and you stay current. You will stay aware because as a New Jersey gun owner, it’s dangerous. You don’t want to have a problem and you want to know what the law is. You want to know about those changes to the carry and all.
Evan Nappen 24:22
These are all sources of critical information for you to protect yourself, as is your training. You want to make sure that you know how to shoot. You want to make sure that you are trained. You want to have a place where you can shoot. Let me just tell you about the other sponsor of Gun Lawyer which I’m very proud of and that is WeShoot. WeShoot is a target range in Lakewood. It’s very convenient for folks in Ocean, Monmouth, etc. Easy to get to. It’s a great range with great people. They have training, and they can get you certified for the training you need to get your carry license. You know, I just did a great event last weekend with WeShoot. It was at Kava in Lakewood, which is a really nice place with delicious food and coffee. Of course, I can’t resist that. We did a gun law seminar there, and it was with WeShoot, and the great folks associated with WeShoot in that beautiful range in Lakewood. WeShoot is just first rate. They did a great job, and we were able to get the word out and talk to shooters. This is the kind of thing that WeShoot does. They run events. They have a fantastic range, a range that you will love. These ranges are precious resources for us. You need a place to shoot, and it’s harder and harder to find a place to shoot.
Evan Nappen 25:58
WeShoot right now, by the way, is running a sale. I think I mentioned it before. It’s still on, and you can still take advantage of their .22 cal. firearm sale. All pistols and rifles are 15% off, not 50, 15% off, 15. They are running the sale until July 9. So, there’s still time. You can go down there and pick out a great .22 pistol or a great .22 rifle. It’s always a pleasure shooting .22s and the ammunition is reasonable. It’s the classic of all classics for target shooting fun. If you don’t have a gun permit, that’s okay, if you don’t have a gun purchase permit. You do need one to acquire it. What WeShoot will do, if you already have a valid Firearms ID Card, they will hold your gun for 90 days. They’ll hold it so you can go get your pistol purchase permit, and you can still acquire the gun at a great sale price. Pick out the gun you like, and they’ll hold it for you for 90 days. Take advantage of the great .22 sale for pistols and rifles. You can check out WeShoot at weshoot usa.com. They have a great website with beautiful photography. Those guys really are first rate with their photography with great staff and trainers. It’s a resource you want to have on your side. So, check out WeShoot and support our sponsors and those that stand with the Second Amendment community. Page – 7 – of 8
Evan Nappen 27:42
Now let me tell you about the impact right away of this victory for gun owners. Because it is really amazing how far reaching the impact these lousy laws can have and let me show you this right from a letter by one of our great listeners James Smith. James says, regarding CMP 1911, and M1 Garands. Now CMP is the Civilian Marksmanship Program. James says, Evan, on a previous episode of Gun Lawyer, you spoke about the CMP and how you can get a 1911 and M1 from them. That is true. If you want to get an original, authentic, military, U.S. military, most of them from World War II, it’s 100% from the government through the CMP. They have a program where you can get them extremely reasonably. You are allowed one 1911, and it is, in my opinion, it’s worth double as soon as you get it, because they sell them reasonably. It is a great gun and historic. You can’t get any better as a gun, right from the government like that, you know. It’s 100% U.S. issue because that’s where it came from. So, you can get a Garand from them as well, a Garand rifle. They have great Garands, all kinds, for shooting, target practice, or collecting. Check out the resource of the CMP as I’d mentioned before. I own many CMP guns myself. It used to be the DCM, which goes way back, the Division of Civilian Marksmanship. It’s a wonderful program that promotes shooting in the United States and can provide super quality military firearms to legal and licensed individuals.
Evan Nappen 29:48
So, James listened to this show and said, hey, that’s cool, because it is cool. He went and put in for the 911 lottery, so his number came up. When they draw your number, they call you. So, he put his application in for both. He already received his M1 Garand. He got a call from the CMP on Monday, that my RGN number came up. That’s the number that they pull. His RGN number came up, that means you get to pick the 1911. You get to tell them which grade you want, what they have available, and they pick the best one. You get to buy it, and they ship it. James says, but as she was confirming my address, she realized that I am in New Jersey. She said that since a new law was passed, they have put a hold on all shipments of 1911s and M1 Garands to New Jersey. I assume this has to do with the ghost gun ban that Murphy signed. So, I guess the M1 Garand is now illegal. Any idea of what’s going to happen now? Thanks, James.
Evan Nappen 31:00
Well, James, I appreciate your letter. As you must already know, we have great news. The M1 Garand, the 1911, and millions of other guns are no longer a prohibited firearm under the new “ghost gun law” in New Jersey. I suggest that if the CMP isn’t aware of it, if the wonderful person who you spoke to, they’re very nice down there at CMP, the wonderful people down there, I love them, you may want to bring to her attention that this has now changed and send them a copy of the Attorney General guidelines. Tell her to listen to my show, if you want, and she’ll learn about it as well. They should not stop the shipments anymore of these really fine military firearms that are both collectible, historic, and a pleasure to own and shoot. And really what’s more American than a 1911 and an M1 Garand, folks? I can’t think of anything. So, I’m really glad, James, that this problem has been resolved and that the CMP now should be able to resume shipping. And why? Because of this great success in getting this terrible law essentially fixed, and the issues raised all addressed. It’s not often we can say that in New Jersey without having a prolonged kicking and screaming fight. Page – 8 – of 8
Evan Nappen 32:40
To that effect, I will give credit to the Attorney General for working with the state association, in resolving these issues without the need for massive litigation and expense. So, look, when somebody does something right, you want to say thank you for doing something right. I’m going to say that now. They did something right and thank you. We can’t always be complaining, even though the law itself I still think is wrong. But at least these problems have been addressed fairly and reasonably and so, that is almost a breath of fresh air for New Jersey. Pretty shocking. But there you have it. So, folks, great news, a great day. We’ll have the links on the transcript for the show. If you go to the Gun Lawyer website, you can find the link there, as well the Association link to get the guidelines or you can go right to Association and get the guidelines. You want to get them, and this matter has been legally addressed and resolved. This is Evan Nappen reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.
Speaker 3 34:06
Gun Lawyer is a CounterThink Media production. The music used in this broadcast was managed by Cosmo Music, New York, New York. Reach us by emailing Evan@gun.lawyer. The information and opinions in this broadcast do not constitute legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your state.