Last month, Senator Joseph Lagana (District 38) filed S3079, a bill which prohibits leaving a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor under the age of 18, and requires law enforcement officers who observe unsecured firearms to conduct follow-up and confirm compliance. This is a common-sense measure that doesn’t take anyone’s guns away; it simply encourages smart, responsible gun ownership, which is something that we believe all New Jerseyans should support, regardless of their stance on the Second Amendment.
This bill was a direct result of the efforts of Jennifer Gonzales, Bergen County mom whose son Jack committed suicide in November, 2016, using his father’s unsecured firearm–despite the fact that Jack’s father had already been ordered by a judge to secure his guns.
New Jersey is one of 28 states that has a Child Access Prevention (CAP) law in place, but it only covers children under the age of 16. Even Texas, which has some of the most lax gun safety laws in the country, has a stronger CAP law in place.
KeepNJSafe strongly supports S3079, and has been working with Jennifer to advocate for its passage. Several legislators have already expressed interested in signing on as a sponsor to S3079, and an Assembly version is currently in the works. More information will be shared soon.
UPDATE: Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez has filed the Assembly version, A4898.