TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- An Assembly panel has approved legislation to strengthen gun prohibitions for domestic violence offenders as well as barring convicted carjackers, gang members and racketeers from buying or owning guns in New Jersey.

handgun with bullets
Sascha Burkard, ThinkStock

The Assembly's Law and Public Safety committee passed them Monday.

One bill requires courts to inform domestic violence convicts they are barred from gun ownership. Defendants would also have to prove they surrendered their weapons.

It calls for a line on restraining order forms indicating whether defendants have access to guns and also requires weapons to be returned when the order expires.

Another updates the list of convicts barred from owning guns to include carjackers, gang members and racketeers.

A third requires law enforcement be notified when a prospective gun buyer seeks to expunge a mental health record.

“For victims and their children, domestic violence turns a chance to live the American Dream into a horrific nightmare. I know, because I’ve lived that nightmare,” said Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Too many victims are killed at the hands of abusers who have easy access to firearms, before they ever have a chance to get out. This legislation will change that - strengthening our gun violence laws in order to protect victims of domestic violence.”

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