New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)
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Our friends at Ammoland, who are based in the gun rights hell that is New Jersey, have uncovered what appears to be a little-known aspect of a gun control law that passed and was signed into law last June. They’ve just published an article by attorney Evan Nappen who has read the law closely and discovered that — intentionally or not — it’s actually the biggest gun ban ever enacted in these here United States.

The bill was ostensibly intended to outlaw firearms without serial numbers. It banned homemade guns, 3D printed guns, even possession of the files for running a 3D printer or CNC machine for making firearms. It even outlawed slingshots, fer Chrissakes.

Banned in New Jersey (Shutterstock)

Like so many laws that are enacted at all levels of government, this one was poorly written. And as a result, it’s incredibly broad.

I talked to Mr. Nappen this afternoon and he tells me the law is quite clear that for a firearm to be legal in New Jersey, it has to have a serial number and the serial number must have been imprinted by a federally licensed firearm manufacturer.

That means your Daisy BB gun — which under the state’s expansive and idiotic gun control laws is actually considered a firearm — may have a serial number on it, but Daisy isn’t a federally licensed gun maker. As a result that Red Ryder in your kid’s closet now makes you a felon.

The implications, however, are far wider than that. Think of every pre-1968 firearm owned by New Jersey residents. The Garand that Gramps brought home from the war in Europe? Felony. The duck gun that your uncle bought in 1955 and left to you in his will…congratulations, you’re now a felon, too.

Again, under the state’s God-awful gun laws, air guns, pellet guns, CO2 guns, muzzleloaders and black powder guns are all considered firearms. So if they don’t have serial numbers that were imprinted by a federally licensed gun maker, they’re now illegal. Technically that Canik TP9 that’s made in a factory in Turkey…but not one that’s federally licensed by the US government…is also banned. Yeah. Think about that.

cva muzzleloader
Banned in New Jersey (courtesy CVA)

Nappen tells us that the law criminalizes the possession, sale, transport, and even the disposal of guns that are outlawed under the law that was passed last year. That means a local gun store that has unserialized pellet guns, muzzleloaders, or pre-1968 firearms for sale in their used gun counter has also committed a felony. A bunch of them, actually. And they’ll commit more of them if they try to dispose of them.

From Nappen’s article at Ammoland . . .

There are NO exceptions and there is NO grandfathering. This was the largest gun ban ever passed in the history of the United States.

The law bans ALL firearms with a “…firearm frame or firearm receiver …which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer…”

The term “firearm frame or firearm receiver” means the part of a firearm that provides housing for the internal components.

It won’t necessarily be easy to tell what guns are legal and what guns aren’t, either.

Determining whether your firearm was made by a federally licensed manufacturer is difficult and will require research of each specific firearm. Of course, some guns are obviously made by U.S. licensed manufacturers, such as Smith & Wesson, Colt, Ruger, Winchester, Remington, etc. Many other firearms, particularly those that were imported, might or might not have federal manufacturing licenses for other models of guns that they make.

Read Nappen’s full article at Ammoland here.

I asked Nappen if he thinks it’s more likely that this is yet another example of ignorant legislators writing laws covering products they know nothing about and don’t understand…or if the legislation was intentionally written to be as vague as possible to extend its potential reach, thus making life hell for the state’s gun owners.

Banned in New Jersey

He told me that as famously ignorant as legislators are, he “no longer gives New Jersey lawmakers the benefit of the doubt because they’re patently against freedom.” He said they rushed this law through the legislative process and the effect is pretty clear. “They have no understanding of current gun laws.”

So far, no law enforcement agency in the state has tried to enforce any of this. That’s likely because they have no idea what the full implications of the language of the law are. But it’s important to let millions of law-abiding gun owners who live in the Garden State know that, thanks to the government they elected and continue to vote for, they’re now felons. The only question is which of them will be the first to be arrested and prosecuted and who will be “lucky” enough to become a test case.

Again, read Nappen’s article over at Ammoland. And count your lucky stars you don’t live in New Jersey.

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  1. Wow! Worse than ILLannoy?!? Who woulda thunk? Where’s Tony Soprano when you need him🙄

    • It does sound familiar to what they just did in IL. FWW maybe we have that same Charlie Foxtrot issue and no one realized it?

    • Well damn NJ just took a commanding lead past IL/NY/CA………..wonder if Delaware will follow suite.

    • To what they’re trying to do with the Ghost Gun Ban Legislature in Colorado too.

      Oh Well, I’m living on borrowed Time as it is.

      Bring It On Bitches!

      • We are all on borrowed time.
        Death starts the minute you are born.
        To save the grief of dieing humans need to abort all babies.

    • The urban centers of New Jersey elect these liberty hating cretins. Most of the horrible ones are Democrats who hide their true colors, but there are many of them who proport to be Republicans. It is the same in NY and Mass.
      Between the red diaper babies and the rinos, New Jersey gets the government it deserves.
      The fact is inescapable that the state government, the county legislatures and the city governments do not have the constitutional authority to prohibit the possession of firearms and other weapons by citizens of the state as well as people from other states of the union.
      It is unlawful to deny constitutionally guaranteed rights to American citizens. Perhaps after the civil case has been heard and these draconian statutes overturned as unconstitutional, criminal proceedings could be brought against the politicians who crafted, passed and signed them into law.

    • FFFFUUUGGGEEE, I hate this state. Fraking sling shots and BB guns were outlawed before over this exact kind of inept/malicious lawfare. This is a Hanlon’s Razor issue, and it really doesn’t matter if its malice or stupidity, those two intersect in Trenton.

      • Oh but it does; Hanlon’s razor is dead. Buried. 6 ft under. An ex-parrot, as it were. To believe it today is to be naive.
        The reverse is now repeatedly, demonstrably true in the 21st century:
        ‘Never ascribe to incompetence that which can be explained by malice’.

        How many times have we already seen the malfeasant hide behind this axiom when caught red handed? From “missteps” (illegal, criminal wrongdoing) to “I misspoke” (I lied through my teeth). These euphemisms are used to protect the guilty.

    • Tony Soprano would be ecstatic about the new law – it disarms potential victims and expands the black market. He would probably invite the legislators who passed it down to the club for a good time.

  2. Well NJ how does it feel to be today’s version of yesterday’s Jim Crow Gun Controlled Black Americans? Obviously Gun Control History repeats itself when voters are Gun Control History Illiterates.

      • Jim Crow is the play book, subjugating and enslaving all of us is the objective. Post civil war blacks were the test case and precedent. In Mao’s China it was called the cultural revolution, history has many examples just open your eyes. Sure, Debbie beats that decomposing horse, but her point is more valid than ever.

  3. The ride is the punishment.

    And yes, every sentence of every gun control law must eventually be litigated…which is not an unintended consequence.

    • “And yes, every sentence of every gun control law must eventually be litigated…”

      I’m not so sure, Samuel.

      As egregious of a law like that, it may be vulnerable to an outright being thrown out, may it not?

      If a state passes a chattel slavery law, legal ownership, whips, chains, all that rot, can an emergency appeal be made?

      • “As egregious of a law like that, it may be vulnerable to an outright being thrown out, may it not?”

        I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express…..

        There may be a severability clause. A judge may decide to surgically carve out certain provisions, and leave the rest. Not recommending anyone expect activist judges to avoid retaining as much tyranny as possible.

        • I’d hope the plaintiffs in the Koons case (where US District Judge Bumb entered a wicked preliminary injunction against most of NJ’s post-Bruen carry law) will amend their Complaint and assert a challenge to this law as well.

          As her ruling in that case proved in spades, she certainly understands how to apply the Bruen test. Given that serial numbers and federally licensed firearms dealers were unknown in 1789, getting this law thrown out seems a foregone conclusion.

  4. Mr Zimmerman, Ammoland is based in Sebastian, Florida. , …NOT the gun rights hell that is NJ.

  5. I don’t l
    ive there but if I did I’d be movong, along with all two of my firearms.

    I’d rather move and lose money than stay behind and risk serious jail time AND attorney bills.

    I do have some old military pieces that have numbers stamped on them, at various places…. and which numbers all match on each given piece. It is plain to see that they were NOT placed there by any BATF or FFL entity thus relegating me to a hell of court punishment if discovered.

    Oh well whaddyapseck from Murphyland? I like my old toys anyway even if Phil does not.

  6. The law censors, “It outlaws… even possession of the files for running a 3D printer or CNC machine for making firearms”, criminalizing free political speech about information to build, by modern means, arms necessary to resist a tyranny. The law criminalizes possession of modern arms and confiscates arms from individuals. Two rights violated. What other tripwire is needed to resist tyranny? Why are these politicians not arrested and prosecuted for violations of our constitution, individual rights?

    • “Why are these politicians not arrested and prosecuted for violations of our constitution, individual rights?”

      LKB himself covered that scenario recently, and the TL;DR is, no, they can’t.

      Now if 100 thousand angry ‘peaceful protesters’ show up at his house and barge their way inside, I sure won’t cry about it… 🙂

  7. Infringers of liberty are never satisfied or face any meaningful punishment either! Being voted out of office is not a punishment! I’m thinking more along the line of Christmas tree ornament. They fear nothing because there is nothing for them to fear!

    • “When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is Liberty” – Ben Franklin

  8. This is what we get when we enlist the stupidest in society to be our leaders.

  9. “This is what we get when we enlist the stupidest in society to be our leaders.”

    That’s a bit presumptuous, and arrogant.

    I’ve never been elected leader.

    • Sam,

      If you truly are “the stupidest in society”, what the hell does that make America’s Dumbest Bartender, Senile Joe (who was stupid before he became senile), Steve Cohen, “Beta” O’Dork, and so many others?

      We have a surfeit of stupid people, and a substantial percentage of them are in government – on BOTH sides of the aisle!

      • “If you truly are “the stupidest in society”, what the hell does that make America’s Dumbest Bartender, Senile Joe (who was stupid before he became senile), Steve Cohen, “Beta” O’Dork, and so many others? ”

        Don’t know. I’m too stupid to even know who those people are. And too busy burnishing my stupidity so that I can be elected as a leader.

  10. Considering New Jersey has always been the retarded step child of New York. Who cares. Obviously the people living there don’t. Why should anyone else…3 2 1

  11. A badly written law that has broad interpretation?

    That is not a bug. It is a feature.

    But the state is now safe because of the sacred talisman known as a serial number.

  12. Well, either ALL imported firearms are now banned, or the court will “interpret” the law so as to include all imported firearms that bear the same information mandated by the ATF and inspected on importation (or added within 15 days of release from customs) as sufficient compliance with the law. All AKs not produced in the US, early Glocks, Sigs, H&Ks, Mausers, Tikkas, Blasers, and the list goes on and on and on. I would think that this would violate the Commerce Clause, but not my area of expertise.

    • Easiest attack is the Bruen test. Rotsa ruck showing a historical analogue in 1789, when there were no “federally licensed” firearms manufacturers, much less any laws criminalizing the possession of weapons lacking serial numbers.

  13. If BB guns, pellet guns, and slingshots are “firearms,” and given the great difficulty in obtaining purchase permits, I would think there wouldn’t be too many in the state, legally any way. I mean, who would bother jumping through all the hoops for that?

    Further, there can be no validity of the provision banning disposal of firearms. Obviously the point of the law is to eliminate unserialized arms, so why in the hell would they care if those arms or disposed of out of state? Plus on the criminal side, how can you be convicted for possession an M1 Carbine when it is also a crime to dispose of it? Damned if you do and damned if you don’t? I don’t think so. Way too 1984.

    • “Plus on the criminal side, how can you be convicted for possession an M1 Carbine when it is also a crime to dispose of it?”

      About the M1 –

      Could a valid argument be made that since the US government was the one ordering they be manufactured, that implies they were were made by a licensed FFL, by a proxy of sorts?

    • I escaped the Demokratik Republik of New Jersey over 35 years ago. But back when I was still a resident, everyone I knew that had a BB gun, pellet gun, sling shot got them by crossing the Delaware River into PA and bought them at Sears, K-Mart, a hardware store, etc.

  14. Mark your own gunms with a made up number they’ll never know the difference. All their going to do is call in the number NICS will come back not on stolen list and that’s the end of it.
    Or better yet New Jersians could all grab a shovel and start digging towards the ocean.

    • They never liked the Fudds.
      In fact, their disdain for the Fudds is greater than their disdain for the more pure 2A crowd just because the Fudds are such simping cucks.

      Somebody should have explained to the Fudds years ago that the left only pretends to like them because they give the left everything the left wants. The moment that usefulness ends the relationship ends.

      This is true for anyone who thinks simping to anything is a good idea. You’ll be left alone, hated and wracked with self-imposed guilt.

  15. The state and anti-gun had probably forgotten about it …. until … places started writing articles about it.

  16. For you guys who were following the EPA case at SCOTUS (Sackett v EPA) – what the EPA did parallels what the ATF did, basically, creating law by ‘rule making’ – SCOTUS decision, The ATF is in trouble.

    …the U.S. Supreme Court in Sackett v EPA issued a major ruling cutting back on the authority of the EPA and by extension all federal executive branch agencies such as the ATF to enact laws via regulations. The Sackett opinion contains powerful language that can likely be used against the ATF in various contexts including in the ongoing legal fights over the bump stock ban and the pistol brace rules.

    • The Sackett opinion tells me that the votes are there to eliminate or severely curtail Chevron deference next year.

      That would be a major game changer, even bigger that Bruen and Dobbs.

    • It’s not the Russians America needs to worry about.
      I like Indian trap music. It has a nice beat.

  17. Woman shoots man armed with crowbar in University City …in groin…

    Basically: A 22 year old man thought it was a bright idea to come up to a woman’s vehicle with a crowbar in his hand. He proceeds to smash out the woman’s passenger side rear window. She draws and fires, putting a bullet in the man’s groin. The man dropped the crowbar in the woman’s vehicle and hopped in his car and drove to Center City. Police found him outside of his vehicle at the intersection of 23rd and Market Streets suffering from a gunshot wound to his groin. He’s in critical condition at Presbyterian Hospital. She fired one time, police found one spent bullet casing in her car, she has a permit and was lawfully carrying.

    Good job lady.

    (note: There are ~3,500 criminal attacks using blunt objects (bats-clubs, crowbars, other at-hand or carried objects, etc…) daily in the United States against innocent law abiding citizens.)

    • Good thing it wasn’t a .357 the guy might have only made it as far as the bowling alley.

    • The best gun control is a good two hand hold on my pistol. Your buddies in Connecticut will find that their “law” will be just as UNCONSTITUTIONAL as the New York Law and a host of other knee jerk reactions to the Bruen decision are.
      If you Leftist anti-gun radicals are so hell bent on getting rid of gun rights, you will have to amend the Constitution. Fat chance!

    • This latest bill requires the registration of ghost guns manufactured prior to 2019, the year Connecticut lawmakers voted to ban them, yet grandfathered existing weapons. The proposal also bars the possession of ghost guns that are neither serialized nor registered.

      Connecticut’s bill would bar the sale, delivery and transfer of more than three handguns to an individual during a 30-day period. It also would expand the current prohibition on sales to people under 21 of semiautomatic rifles with the capacity of greater than five rounds to include private sales; expand the state’s current assault weapon ban to include other weapons; impose tougher penalties for possession of large-capacity magazines; and impose new safe-storage rules.

      Translation: it will do NOTHING to prevent a mass shooting, or a single shooting, or stop a criminal from committing a crime with a gun. It only prescribes penalties for law-abiding citizens.

      “All these plastic ghost guns, they are flooding our streets,” Lamont told reporters before the debate. “We see what used to be settled with a fist are now settled with a plastic ghost gun.”

      Where are criminals getting these supposed “plastic ghost guns?” Are criminals shooting up schools with “plastic ghost guns?”

      What a load of crap.

  18. Under the Bruen standard, serial numbers do not align with the “history and tradition” of regulating firearms. At the time of the writing of the constitution – no gun manufacturer serialized guns and were not required to do so.

    • If the gunms that got stolen from me had not had serial numbers the cops wouldn’t have given them back to me.
      I just thought of something, the money they took had serial numbers on it too, never got that back. Damn.
      From now on I’m writing down all the serial numbers on all the money I have, that should take about 15 minutes.
      Let’s Go Brandon

    • “Under the Bruen standard, serial numbers do not align with the “history and tradition” of regulating firearms. At the time of the writing of the constitution – no gun manufacturer serialized guns and were not required to do so.”

      Bruen must be adjudicated, one law at a time. Meanwhile, the anti-gun mob is winning. And then, the game starts again. The SC can enforce nothing, and is totally dependent on the executive branch to do so.

  19. Furthermore, Your Honor, the Defendant “museum curators” were found in possession of firearms used by a rebellious anti-government militia called the “Continental Army” to comit terrorist acts, on Christmas Eve, right here, in Trenton, New Jersey!

    • ” Museum Curators ” in this case are found guilty of not just possession, but for the crime of inciting ‘ hate or intimidation ‘ by allowing the poor impressionable citizens of NJ to look upon those horrible GUNZ !

  20. “thanks to the government they elected and continue to vote for,”

    People keep saying this. After 2 stolen elections I no longer beleive it. In a place like NJ election fraud has probably been going on longer and more extensively than any of us would imagine.

    • I’m sure there was some election fraud. Just as I’m sure that the marijuana leg@liz@tion crowd is primarily responsible for getting Murphy reelected in New Jersey. Because he made pot legal there. And they rewarded him for doing that.

  21. It’s amazing to see how the tables have turned. When it wants the Southern States who rebelled against the Federal courts. Now you have the northern states rebelling against the federal courts. No one should expect the South to send an army to go free the Northerners from their slavery.

    We can have a “national divorce” without large military formations moving across state lines.

    If the native Hawaiians/Polynesians break away from the other 49 states??? Then all bets are off and everything is on the table. For a national divorce to happen. Or at least to have the more conservative portions of the states break away from the more liberal portions.

    • The U.S. military ain’t going to let no states break away.
      And as much as we would like to believe We the People would win it ain’t going to happen.
      “But but but.”

      • The American active duty soldiers will not be fighting civilians wearing flip flops and carrying an AK47, in the flat lands.
        They will have to fight against, “a gun behind every blade of grass.”

        There are over 400 million guns in the of civilians here. And less than 2 million in the hands of the military and police combined.

        A suppressed “squirrel gun” is an effective weapon in an urban environment. You don’t need a 1000 yd gun in a city. And you don’t need permission to make your own silencer.
        All you need is plastic bottle from your local corner store. And a few other materials.

        Do you really believe soldiers will follow orders to shoot their fellow Americans???

        A number of cops are already now being ambushed. Now multiply that number times 100 million.
        That is why we have the second amendment.

        • “Do you really believe soldiers will follow orders to shoot their fellow Americans???”

          Emphatically, yes. The military is no longer the guardian of traditional values; it is full woke.

          We have an alleged 100,000,000 legal gun owners; not 100,000,000 POTG.

          Looking at the losses of the US military since 1945, we can attribute the dismal failures to reflecting a society where wars of annihilation are not considered good form. However, civil wars are a completely different matter.

          No warfare is as brutal as civil war, where rules are not held in high esteem, over utter destruction of “the other”. A foreign war can be fought without visceral hatred of the “enemy”; not so a civil war. Civil war is the highest expression of hatred within a society/nation.

  22. For 30 years or longer, Ney Jersey has been the model testing grounds for anti gun laws and confiscation-by-any-means schemes. What you see there gets implemented in other states within 2-3 years. Every. Damn. Time.

    In case you missed it. Open mic catches NJ Senator saying its all about CONFISCATION

  23. As I mentioned in a reply, I’m living on borrowed time as it is, so Bring It Fed and State Biyitches!!!

  24. Well, unfortunately I do live in this unconstitutional hellhole of a state, but like many others, the missus and I are planning to get out of NJ a.s.a.p.

  25. What about the 16 inch /50 rifles on the USS New Jersey museum? Or the 5 inch / 38 s, 40 mm Bofors and 20 mm Oerlikons?

    • WWII infantry weapons meet all of the qualifications. The feds put those serial numbers on.

  26. left nj 20 years ago…never looked back. loved the geography, hate the government.

  27. “All of it is invalid under Bruin.”

    Which matters not, until declared so by the SC.

    And even then, a new dance begins.

    The whole point of the proliferation of gun laws that defy the SC is to prove legislators can enact gun control laws faster than the courts can/will strike them down.

  28. @LKB
    “Given that serial numbers and federally licensed firearms dealers were unknown in 1789, getting this law thrown out seems a foregone conclusion.”

    One wonders…..

    How long has it been since “saint Benetiz” was handed back Miller v. Bonta in the 9th Circuit? And does not the law in question continue to be in effect until run back up the judicial chain?

  29. Gramp’s M1 would be fine.

    US Arsenals would be considered federally licensed firearms manufacturers, right?
    Since they’re/were owned and operated by the federal government? Anyway, it would seem to be good to go with WWII US infantry weapons in this case.

  30. I guess I won’t be taking my Benjamin Marauder there. It had a serial number when I bought it but I sent it in for warranty work. From the time I bought it and the time I sent it in, Benjamin changed the location of where the serial number was. Since I got a new part on my gun, THAT’S where the serial number USED to be and where it no longer is. Short story short, I got my PCP .22 Marauder back with no serial number. I called the manufacturer and asked WTF. Essentially my gun has the same number….just no number. Nice

  31. No surprise since New Jersey is/was the home of major organized crime and I don’t doubt still is. They want their organization ONLY to have weapons.

  32. pols like gun control because it makes a safer working environment for their constituents & relatives – they can then assault, burglarize, carjack, home-invade, mug, rape, etc., without fear of law-abiding self-defense/prevention/retribution. in other words, obama/obiden-heaven.

  33. Please, someone from the United States of America send in the US Marines to liberate the People’s Republic of New Jersey from our dictatorship!
    Oh wait, the US Marines are now under the control of gun-hatin’ Joe Biden, so I guess liberation isn’t going to happen — and even if Trump wins in 2024, Donald Trump couldn’t care less about New Jersey (despite having a gold course here), so we’ll be stuck behind the iron curtain for many more years.

    Slingshots have been banned in New Jersey for over a hundred years, due to a 19th century typo. True story: back in the 19th century, the New Jersey legislature was trying to ban the slungshot (yes, slungshot, a blunt-force weapon), but some idiot thought that slungshot was a misspelling of slingshot and changed the bill to “slingshot” before it was passed into law.

  34. The passed statute:

    2C:39-3 subsection n.,

    n. Firearms without a serial number. Any person who knowingly possesses a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled using a firearm frame or firearm receiver as defined in subsection k. of N.J.S.2C:39-9 which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer including, but not limited to, a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled from parts purchased or otherwise obtained in violation of subsection k. of N.J.S.2C:39-9, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

    that part of 2C:39-9:

    k. Purchasing firearm parts to manufacture a firearm without a serial number. In addition to any other criminal penalties provided under law, a person who, with the purpose to manufacture or otherwise assemble a firearm and without being registered or licensed do so as provided in chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, purchases or otherwise obtains separately or as part of a kit a firearm frame or firearm receiver which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer or any combination of parts from which a firearm without a serial number may be readily manufactured or otherwise assembled, but which does not have the capacity to function as a firearm unless manufactured or otherwise assembled is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8 or any other law, a conviction under this subsection shall not merge with a conviction for any other criminal offense and the court shall impose separate sentences upon a violation of this subsection and any other criminal offense.

    As used in this subsection, “firearm frame or firearm receiver” means the part of a firearm that provides housing for the firearm’s internal components, such as the hammer, bolt or breechblock, action, and firing mechanism, and includes without limitation any object or part which is not a firearm frame or receiver in finished form but is designed or intended to be used for that purpose and which may readily be made into a firearm frame or receiver through milling or other means.

    My interpretation:

    Section k. limits the applicability of 2C:39-3 to firearm parts such as AR15 lowers without serial numbers (such as 80% lowers and kits). Additionally, they must be manufactured by a Federally licensed company to which the serial number is registered – you can’t make your own lower even if you serialize it yourself.

    That said, if Nappen is in error or due to malfeasance (to protect his occupation) he has given ammunition (pun intended) to the NJ AG to go after people in possession of any firearm lacking a federally registered serial number.

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