In May 2022, New Jersey State Senator Ed Durr introduced a host of new gun rights bills designed to promote responsible firearms ownership. One of these bills, S-2490, is of particular interest if you're facing a restraining order or domestic abuse allegations in New Jersey – here's a look at the proposed reforms and how they may affect your rights.
Domestic Abuse and Gun Ownership
Under the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2018, NJ courts can temporarily stop someone from possessing firearms if they believe the person may use the weapon to harm themselves or others. This means that NJ courts can prohibit you from owning a firearm if:
- You're facing domestic abuse allegations
- Someone files a restraining order against you
Under the 2018 Act, the courts can seize your guns and stop you from obtaining more weapons – even if you're innocent.
The Reform Proposals
According to Senator Durr, more should be done to protect the constitutional rights of New Jersey citizens and promote safe gun ownership. He has proposed 15 bills to expand NJ gun rights, including:
- S-2486: A bill allowing active members of the US military to carry weapons at all times.
- S-2490: This bill repeals the Extreme Protective Order Act of 2018.
- S-2602: A bill proposing to end the current 30-day waiting period between handgun purchases.
If S-2490 passes, there are significant consequences for domestic abuse defendants. Let's consider the implications.
How S-2490 Affects Defendants
Right now, the 2018 Act preemptively protects domestic abuse victims from harm. The idea is that it's better to be safe than sorry: if someone is a high risk for committing gun violence, they shouldn't have access to firearms.
The main issue with the 2018 Act, however, is that it applies even if someone is entirely innocent. So, if someone makes false accusations about you and they petition the court to restrict your access to guns, you will lose access to firearms even if you did nothing wrong.
- If the bill passes, it won't be so simple for the courts to force defendants to relinquish their firearms
- To protect victims, defendants may still lose access to their guns depending on the facts of the case
To be clear, even if the bill passes, it only affects those determined, preemptively, to be a firearms risk. If someone has, for example, a history of domestic abuse or they're found guilty of such offenses, they could still be restricted from owning or accessing firearms.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help With Your Case
For now, at least, you'll often lose your firearms if you're facing domestic abuse charges or there's a restraining order against you in NJ. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, Joseph Lento has successfully defended many individuals facing similar charges, and he wants to help protect your rights. To retain Joseph Lento's services as a defense attorney, call now on 888.535.3686 or leave a message online.