NJ Goes After BB Guns: "Young Kids Can Get A Felony Charge And Their Lives Are Over"

Steve_McGarrett

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Is this insane or what. When I was a kid I had several Red Ryder BB Guns and shot the whole place up killing birds, turtles, squirrels and even my friends at a distance having BB gun wars. I learned how to aim with the BB gun and then like most kids graduated to a Benjamin Pellet gun. New Jersey is a place I will never encourage anyone to move to.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOXpyhM2wA]A Christmas Story - YouTube[/ame]

State Goes After BB Guns: ?Young kids can get a felony charge and their lives are basically over? |

In New Jersey, an unregistered BB gun could mean jail time.

That’s right…a BB gun. That iconic, much-desired gift from the movie, A Christmas Story. Apparently the government is just as deeply concerned about the potential of someone putting an eye out with a BB gun as Ralphie’s mother was. They are so concerned that if you don’t register your air gun, pellet gun, or BB gun, you could go directly to jail. Do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200.



The Graves Act is the primary statute that forms the spine of New Jersey’s oppressive gun control laws. It requires a minimum term of imprisonment and ineligibility for the violation of gun laws, even for first time offenders. Children are not exempt – they too are subject to strict punishment under the harsh gun control law. Punishable violations under the act include:

◾Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a), (b) or (c).
◾ Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b).
◾Possession of a Defaced Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d).
◾ Possession of a Firearm While in the Course of Committing a Drug Distribution or Possession With Intent to Distribute Offense, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1(a).
◾Possession of Certain Weapons by Persons Previously Convicted of Specified Offenses, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(a) or (b)(2).
◾The Manufacture, Transport, or Disposition of a Machine Gun, Sawed-Off Shotgun, or Assault Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(a), (b), or (g).
◾The Defacement of a Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(e). (source)

Under the Graves Act, all guns must be registered, and this includes BB guns, pellet guns, and air guns, despite the fact that they are not actually “firearms”. According to the ATF, the definition of a firearm is very specific:


“The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include “(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….” Based on Section 921(a)(3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law — unless they are manufactured with the frames or receivers of an actual firearm. Accordingly, the domestic sale and possession of air guns is normally unregulated under the Federal firearms laws enforced by ATF.” (source)

Despite the fact that it doesn’t fall into the definition, if you’re caught transporting a BB gun in your vehicle, for example, and it’s unsecured and unlicensed, you could face mandatory jail time. Even though these “guns” are powered by air or by spring mechanisms, the Graves Act does not differentiate between a BB gun and a sawed-off shotgun.


“In all honesty, kids who are charged are looking at mandatory jail time,” said New Jersey attorney William Proetta, adding that under the state’s Graves Act, a conviction could lead to prison time. “The only defense is to request a waiver but if that’s not granted, young kids can get a felony charge and their lives are basically over.”

New Jersey’s strict Graves Act gun law covers possession of a BB gun right alongside serious gun control measures outlawing sawed-off shotguns, filing serial numbers off of guns or using firearms to commit crimes. Violating the act can bring a minimum three-year prison term and steep fines. (source)
 
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Chuckt

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Despite the fact that it doesn’t fall into the definition, if you’re caught transporting a BB gun in your vehicle, for example, and it’s unsecured and unlicensed, you could face mandatory jail time. Even though these “guns” are powered by air or by spring mechanisms, the Graves Act does not differentiate between a BB gun and a sawed-off shotgun.
I don't live in New Jersey.

I will say that it doesn't matter what mechanism powers the gun and some can fire pellets as well as BB's. What about BB guns that are fully automatic?

Get a gun book that covers ammunition and feet per second on different guns. How much do you need to hurt someone? 600 Feet per second, 200 Feet per second, 1,200 feet per second? 2,000 Feet per second?

Where do you draw the line?
 

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