Big changes could soon be coming to New Jersey's gun laws. A particular senate bill introduced by gun rights advocate Senator Ed Durr in early May could have a big impact on how gun violence and the threat of gun violence is handled in domestic settings. Senator Durr wants to loosen the state's current gun control restrictions, and if his bill passes, you should know what the consequences may be for you and your family.
How S-2490 Can Affect Gun Ownership
Senator Ed Durr introduced a package of bills in early May, aimed at loosening New Jersey's gun restrictions. One bill in particular, S-2490, could affect gun owners and families substantially. S-2490 would repeal the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018.” This act allows New Jersey Courts to issue protective orders specifically for gun violence or Extreme Risk Protective Orders (ERPOs). These orders can be filed against individuals who pose a significant risk of injury to themselves and others by owning or possessing a firearm.
In New Jersey, a family or household member, as well as a law enforcement officer, can request ERPOs. Once issued, it prevents the person the order is against (the respondent) from possessing or purchasing a firearm or ammunition. It also prevents them from holding a firearms identification card or permit. The law specifies who is considered a “family and household member” who may seek an ERPO against someone:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or former domestic partner
- Current or former civil union partner
- Current or former household member
- Current or former dating partner
- A person who shares a child with the respondent or anticipates a child if one of the parties is pregnant
What Happens If S-2490 Passes
If Senator Durr's bill passes and eventually ends up successfully repealing the Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018, seeking an ERPO will no longer be possible. Although the state of New Jersey does have other protective orders that family or household members can seek against one another if they feel they're under threat of violence or abuse, these other orders don't address gun ownership as head-on as the ERPO.
Individuals can seek a restraining order in New Jersey, which may also prohibit the respondent from possessing or purchasing a gun. Restraining orders also aren't as limited as ERPOs concerning who may file for one. However, an ERPO helps to address an immediate and present danger of bodily injury to self and others, whereas a restraining order protects the life, health, and wellbeing of someone in danger of domestic violence.
An Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help
With gun control laws changing so often, it's hard to know what your options are or what applies to you. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team of family law attorneys at the Lento Law Firm can help you make sense of it and answer all your questions about restraining orders or ERPOs. Contact the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686 to discuss your situation.