Mosquera, Greenwald, Lagana, Benson, Lampitt & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Gun Violence Approved by Assembly
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Lou Greenwald, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to strengthen New Jersey's gun laws and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.
"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 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."
Among other provisions, the bill (A-4218) would:<
- Require domestic abusers to surrender their firearms while a domestic violence restraining order is in effect, or when they are convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense;<
- Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be suspended during domestic violence restraining orders;
- Require an abuser's firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun to be revoked if the individual is convicted of a domestic violence crime or offense; and
- Require cross-referencing of records to assist in determining whether an alleged domestic abuser owns a firearm in order to assist law enforcement's ability to ensure that an abuser does not have access to firearms.
Melissa Hayes Bergen Record
Two bills aimed at strengthening the state’s gun laws cleared an Assembly committee Monday.
One bill would add convictions for carjacking, racketeering and making terroristic threats to the list of prohibitions for purchasing a gun in the state. The other bill aims to protect domestic violence victims by requiring the alleged abuses to relinquish their fire arms when a restraining order if filed or if that person is convicted of a domestic violence offense. Both measures, sponsored by Democrats, were released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Governor Christie, who has been travelling the country as he considers a presidential bid, has blamed the state’s stringent laws on the Democratic-controlled legislature and has said at recent events that if Republicans controlled the Senate and Assembly he would try to change them.Read more
Lagana, Mazzeo, Mosquera & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Strengthen Laws Against Domestic Violence Advances
Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Lagana, Vince Mazzeo, Gabriela Mosquera and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to make it more difficult for first-time domestic violence offenders to enter pretrial intervention (PTI), and thus avoid jail time, was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.
"The Ray Rice case simply highlighted a larger failing of the criminal justice system in New Jersey," said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). "This bill is about making sure that those who commit acts of domestic violence understand the severity of their crimes. More importantly, however, it's about righting a wrong in pursuit of justice for the many who have suffered in silence."
The bill (A-4016) would amend current law to make assault against a victim of domestic violence a crime of the third degree with no presumption of non-imprisonment, meaning that incarceration could be considered as a punishment for the offender. Under the law, such assault is a crime of the third degree, which is ordinarily punishable by three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000 or both, but there is a presumption of non-imprisonment for first-time offenders.
The bill also provides that the prosecutor and the court should give additional weight to a domestic violence victim's position on whether a defendant should enter PTI.
Furthermore, a defendant charged with a third or fourth degree crime involving domestic violence would be required to enter a plea of guilty before being considered for participation in PTI. Individuals charged with a domestic violence offense who committed the offense while subject to a temporary or permanent restraining order and defendants charged with a fourth degree crime of contempt of a domestic violence order would also have to plead guilty before being considered for PTI.
Mosquera, Greenwald, Lagana, Benson, Lampitt & Vainieri Huttle Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims from Gun Violence Clears Assembly Panel
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gabriela Mosquera, Lou Greenwald, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson, Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to strengthen New Jersey's gun laws and protect victims of domestic violence from gun violence was released Monday by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
“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 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.”
Mosquera issued a multimedia package in which she discusses her legislation.
The multimedia package consists of Mosquera’s commentary and audio and a transcript of same.Read more
Vainieri Huttle, Lagana, Mosquera, Coughlin, Lampitt, Singleton, Benson & Spencer Bill Package to Protect Domestic Violence Victims Clears Full Assembly
A three-bill package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera, Craig Coughlin, Pamela Lampitt, Troy Singleton, Daniel Benson and L. Grace Spencer to bolster protections for domestic violence victims in New Jersey gained approval by the full Assembly on Thursday.
The first bill (A-3655), sponsored by Vainieri Huttle, Lagana and Mosquera, is designed to enhance the protections offered under the "New Jersey Safe Housing Act" by prohibiting a landlord from terminating a tenancy, failing to renew a tenancy, or refusing to enter into a rental agreement due to a tenant's or prospective tenant's status as a domestic violence victim.
Under the act, a tenant may terminate a lease prior to its expiration if they provide appropriate documentation and written notice that they or their child face an imminent threat of serious physical harm from another person if they remain on the premises.
The bill would amend the act to prohibit a landlord from terminating a tenancy, failing to renew a tenancy, or refusing to enter into a rental agreement based on the tenant's, applicant's or household member's status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or based on the tenant or applicant having terminated a rental agreement pursuant to the Act.
"As we've seen all too often lately, domestic violence is still a very pervasive threat in our society. This bill package takes a broader approach to provide the protections necessary to deal with today's realities," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Victims of domestic violence must deal with their life being thrown into upheaval. The last thing they need is to have their home uprooted through no fault of their own."