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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #130

Governor James E. McGreevey

WHEREAS, assault weapons like Uzis and AK-47s have no legitimate civilian uses and, instead, are used by drug dealers, gun-runners, and other violent criminals; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that the easy availability of assault weapons would pose a serious threat to law enforcement and to the safety of the citizens of New Jersey, in 1990 New Jersey enacted the toughest and most comprehensive assault weapons ban in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey assault weapons ban has proven to be highly effective and has served as a model for other states and for the federal government; and

WHEREAS, in 1994 a federal assault weapons ban was enacted that prohibited 19 specific types of assault weapons, including Uzis and AK-47s; and

WHEREAS, the federal assault weapons ban is set to expire on September 13, 2004, and there is no indication that the current Congress will move to reinstate the ban; and

WHEREAS, while assault weapons still will be banned in New Jersey under New Jersey's assault weapons ban, the expiration of the federal ban will mean that assault weapons will once again be readily available nearly everywhere in the United States because few states have their own laws banning such weapons; and

WHEREAS, gun manufacturers can be expected to immediately begin marketing and selling assault weapons in states where they are not otherwise banned; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey law enforcement officials have expressed concern that assault weapons that will now be readily available in other states will end up in the hands of criminals on the streets of New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. MCGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

  1. The Attorney General shall promptly convene a task force, consisting of representatives from all of the relevant segments of the law enforcement community, including but not limited to the county prosecutors offices, the Division of Criminal Justice, the State Police, sheriff's departments, and county and local police departments, to provide assistance to the Attorney General in developing a plan to respond to the issues raised by the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban.

  2. In developing the plan, the Attorney General, with the assistance of the task force, shall review New Jersey statutes and law enforcement regulations, guidance, and policies to determine whether any changes are necessary to address the increased threat to law enforcement and public safety created by the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban, and specifically the problem of assault weapons being purchased out-of-state and brought to New Jersey.

  3. The plan also shall include recommendations to the Governor for any legislative changes that should be made, such as enhanced penalties or other measures directed against gun smuggling.

  4. This Order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 13th day
of September in the Year of Our Lord, Two
Thousand and Four, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Ninth.

/s/ James E. McGreevey

Governor

[seal]

Attest:

/s/ Mark J. Fleming

Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor

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