New Jersey residents might have to kiss firearms raffles goodbye.

If a new measure passes a vote in New Jersey, citizens can no longer use firearms as prizes in competitions or raffles.

Some citizens have spoken out against the new legislation, criticizing it for penalizing law abiding gun owners. Firefighters in New York State fought a similar battle when legislation came up regarding the same matter earlier this year.

New Jersey is looking to ban guns in raffles. (Maxwell Air Force Base)

 

“Firearms should not be raffled off in this manner. Firearm related violence is a significant public health and safety problem and weapons should not be given away in games of chance,” the New York bill said.

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It’s not uncommon for firehouses or police departments to raise funds for department needs or to help raise money for local charities or causes that they support. Quite often, guns are used as raffle prizes. Their value is inherently better than other raffle prizes tend to be, so funds raised are usually significantly higher.

And anyone who has walked away from a stag party or similar raffle with a brand new firearm knows how good it feels to get something so significant for such a small cost – not to mention knowing the proceeds are going to help a cause.

 

Many have vocalized their opinion against the bill.

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“AB 5229 is pure anti-gun legislation that punishes non-profit organizations who are raising money to do good work in the community and for the environment,” said Associate Director of State Services. Luke Houghton. “New Jersey Senators should reject this unjust attack.”

The Sportsmen Alliance first reported on Bill 5229 on April 3rd, calling out lawmakers for the proposed bill.

Firearm raffles would be banned if Bill 5229 passes the NJ vote. (Maxwell Air Force Base)

 

“If passed, AB 5229 would eliminate many of the most popular methods of fundraising used by America’s top conservation organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and local rod and gun clubs. Conservation organizations use the funds raised from these raffles for youth programs, habitat conservation and much more. But this bill wouldn’t target only sportsmen’s organizations. Veteran’s organizations and volunteer fire departments also rely on these types of raffles to help their missions,” said the article.

In addition to firearms being banned as raffle prizes, cleaning kits, gun safes and gun locks are also added to the list.

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New Jersey is not the only state to be up against strict gun legislation. Over the past 3 months, strict laws have been voted into place across the country.

Pennsylvania just proposed that every gun owner in the state should have to register each firearm they own with the Pennsylvania State Police.

A bill referred to as the ‘Firearms Registration Act’ would require all Pennsylvania gun owners to register their firearms with the Pennsylvania State Police.

The Pennsylvania bill would require gun owners to register each firearm annually. (Flickr)

 

The proposed law was introduced by Democrats Mary Louise Isaacson, Angel Cruz and Mary Jo Daley.

According to the measure, if passed, every citizen in possession of a gun would be required to be fingerprinted, provide two photographs that are no older than 30 days old and would have to go through a background check for each firearm that they own.

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The registry would be compiled in an application containing of all of the owner’s personal information, such as their home and work address, phone number, sex, age, and social security number as well as the make, model, and serial number of the firearm.

If the owner’s application gets denied by the State Police, the owner would then have 10 days to file an appeal. If they fail to do so within the time limit, their gun ownership rights would be forfeited.

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This bill would make it a punishable offense to sell, transfer, or be in possession of an unregistered firearm.

The measure also calls for tight control on how guns are stored within a home. Guns must be unloaded and disassembled or must be guarded with a trigger lock, even in a home with no children.

Strict gun laws are being enacted all across the country. (Flickr)

 

Additionally, the bill states that any change in address or job must be communicated to the Pennsylvania State Police within 48 hours of the change. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution.

With each firearm requiring an application and authorized certificate (which costs $10 per gun and expires every year), gun collectors with large quantities of guns could run into trouble.

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In the memoranda of the bill, primary sponsor Rep. Cruz, says, “In this world of instant information, we can’t go an hour without hearing on the news or social media about crime, injury, or death involving firearms. Pew Research Center reports that almost half of Americans personally know someone who has been shot, with 40,000 gun-related deaths reported in 2017. Six in ten Americans believe that our nation’s gun laws are not strict enough, and it’s time something be done to address this problem.”

Gun registrations have produced poor results in other states, like New York and Connecticut, where gun owners largely defied the states’ calls to register semi-automatic rifles and “assault weapons.”

 

We’ve seen sweeping gun control laws across the country since the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre in Parkland, Florida. Pennsylvania now joins the growing list of states tying to enact aggressive gun control measures.

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