New Jersey Initiative Targets Gun Violence; 29 Indictments Cited


New Jersey has begun a campaign to aggressively target gun violence, reports Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa says authorities are focused on seizing weapons in violent areas, disrupting the supply of weapons trafficking into those areas, and aggressively prosecuting criminals involved in the illegal sale and possession of weapons. In the past three weeks, the Criminal Justice Division has obtained 21 state grand jury indictments charging 29 people with the unlawful possession or sale of 52 guns.

The indictments list offenses ranging from unlawful possession of handguns and assault weapons to leading a weapons trafficking network, and also include charges of unlawful transportation of weapons into the state, unlawful possession of defaced weapons, unlawful possession of weapons during commission of narcotics offenses, unlawful possession of body armor piercing bullets, and unlawful possession of weapons by convicted felons. Most of the accused are subject to the strict penalties applicable to Graves Act gun convictions, requiring mandatory periods of parole ineligibility of up to five years. Chiesa said the indictments represent the first wave of prosecutions under the initiative.

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