The following originally appeared at nj2as.com and is reprinted here with permission:
Do you possess a common Air Rifle, such as the Gamo Whisper .177, .22, DX models or something substantially similar? Does your common Air Rifle incorporate noise reduction paraphernalia? If yes, then you are now in possession of a banned assault weapon according to a recent decision by the New Jersey State Police! The New Jersey Second Amendment Society recently obtained a copy of the letter from Lieutenant Joseph Genova, head of the Firearms Investigation Unit (FIU) of the New Jersey Division of State Police, that was sent to NJ firearms retailers regarding the legality of air rifles with internal or barrel mounted baffles designed to reduce noise. In this letter dated August 23, 2013, Lt. Genova makes reference to both air rifles being considered firearms under NJ statute, and that any form of “firearm silencer” is illegal in NJ. A photograph of the letter can be viewed here . . .
For the purposes of enforcing New Jersey’s firearms statutes, air and spring-loaded rifles have long been considered firearms. According to this recent letter, any Air Rifles which incorporate noise reduction paraphernalia (specifically the Gamo Whisper .177, .22, DX models and those which are substantially similar) are now considered illegal due to the noise reduction capability.
This situation has come to light as a result of questions regarding air rifles that are legal to use for hunting squirrel and rabbit in New Jersey. 2013 marks the first year the NJ Division of Fish And Game are allowing air rifles to be used for hunting. Prior to this letter dated August 23, 2013, Gamo and other brand air rifles with internal noise dampening devices have been sold to law-abiding NJ gun owners for hunting and recreational shooting purposes.
The New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) finds the position by the New Jersey State Police, Firearms Investigation Unit, an unnecessary overreach that more than likely originated in the Attorney General’s office. A reasonable person would understand that the noise reduction capability of these devices is not incorporated for any nefarious purpose, but rather to enhance the user’s experience. This is why NJ2AS finds the interpretation of the State Police Firearms Investigation Unit is flawed and wholly objectionable.
What can you do? While we believe it is our responsibility to alert you and to mobilize a coordinated reaction to this interpretation of the statutes, we need your help. We encourage you to contact Governor Christie, the Attorney General and Lieutenant Genova to express your opposition to the interpretation of these statutes.
NJ2AS is always here, working in favor of legislation of our inalienable right to keep and bear arms in NJ. The only way to change the current environment and the attacks on the rights of hunters and firearms owners is to work together and replace as many current NJ Legislators as we can with candidates who respect the Constitution, and who believe in and support individual principles of Liberty and Responsibility. Right at this moment, we have both an opportunity to elect Steve Lonegan, a Constitutional candidate into the United States Senate from New Jersey. This would be a game changer for the entire Nation. Visit our website for opportunities to help Steven Lonegan win the Senate seat at: www.nj2as.com/vote
Meanwhile, in New Jersey Legislative District 3, we can replace gun-grabber Steve Sweeney with Constitutional Conservative Niki Trunk. There are other districts where we can have an effect as well. Consider signing up for the NJ2AS Knock for Niki Event by clicking here.
None of this will happen without your help. Many New Jersey hunters have been saying that the legislature will not interfere with their guns. While this recent move may not seem like much of an incursion, neither did any of the OTHER legislation that whittled away gun ownership rights over the last several decades. The time to stop this kind of thinking dead in it tracks is NOW!