TRENTON, N.J. – Despite following all of New Jersey’s gun laws, an armored-car security guard was arrested last month on his way home from work on two felony charges: possession of hollow-point ammunition and illegal transportation of a firearm.
The guard had a state carry permit for the Smith & Wesson handgun that he had at the time of the stop and a State Police issued license to carry a firearm as part of his duties under the Security Officer Registration Act. He also holds a firearm purchaser ID card and lawfully purchased the handgun with a permit.
Assemblymen Parker Space and John DiMaio are calling for legislation (A146) to clarify the law and increase penalties on people who possess ammunition for an unlawful purpose to avoid confusion in the future.
“The fact that a security guard with proper certification is being prosecuted because of New Jersey’s gun laws is not surprising,” said Space (R-Sussex). “Obviously, gun control bills are being drafted by legislators who don’t understand the unintended consequences of their overreach.”
The guard, a 25-year old African American who has not been able to work since the charges, says his life has been turned upside down. Why police searched his car after being pulled over for tinted windows remains unclear.
“New Jersey’s over-zealous gun laws have enabled scenarios where law-abiding citizens, in this case, a security guard nonetheless, are being prosecuted,” said DiMaio (R-Warren). “Unfortunately, those good intentions have bad consequences. We want to fix that.”
The confusion stems from the law seemingly banning, but clearly not defining, hollow-point bullets. State police have clarified on their website that hollow-point bullets can be legally possessed under certain circumstances, and do not consider the ammunition allegedly possessed by the security officer, Hornady Critical Defense, “hollow nose” ammunition.