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NJ Looks to Get Tough on Gun Theft [AUDIO]

Currently, stealing a gun in New Jersey is treated like stealing a television in the eyes of the law. If convicted of stealing a firearm, the criminal is not likely to go to jail. In a show of bipartisanship, the Assembly Democratic and Republican leaders are teaming up on legislation to get tough on gun theft in the Garden State.

Guns
Andrew Burton, Getty Images

“The current law is theft is a third degree crime,” explained Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). “For third degrees and first time offenders basically there’s a presumption of no incarceration, meaning you don’t go to jail.”

The new bill upgrades the crime of stealing a firearm from a third degree crime to one of the second degree. A second degree crime is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to 10 years and a fine of $150,000, or both.

“The bill would have a minimum jail term; half of what you’re sentenced to,” Bramnick said. “I think the street would learn quickly that hey, you steal a gun, you go to jail. No questions asked, period.”

Stealing a gun often leads to violent crimes, including the loss of life, Bramnick said. He explained the crime is far more serious than stealing property.

“This bill sends a message to criminals they will face severe consequences for stealing a firearm,” Bramnick said. “This is a necessary step that will curb the incidents of violent crime.”

The measure is co-sponsored by Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees).

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