Playing with a slingshot in New Jersey can result in felony charges.
Monmouth County resident Deme Spy, the founder of a slingshot enthusiast club, says that’s ridiculous.
“We can shoot arrows in New Jersey, we have a hunting licenses, and we can shoot guns, but a slingshot is akin to an unlicensed gun or a machine gun,” Spy said. “I’ve always considered it a harmless plinking toy where you can target practice and shoot cans.”
Spy is lobbying for legislative approval of a bill introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Ocean County) that would decriminalize slingshots.
Dancer says a typographical error made slingshot use illegal in New Jersey.
When a weapons law was amended in 1978, slungshots that are used to hit people in the head was mistakenly changed to slingshots.
Dancer says it’s time to get slingshots off that list of weapons that are punishable by up to 18 months in prison and $10,000 fines.
“I mean they’ve been a pastime, a sport activity, a favorite with children for many, many years,” Dancer said. “So the Boy Scouts whether they’re going for their merit badge or some young boy or girl wants to have fun in their backyard with a slingshot, that’s fine. Let’s not criminalize our youth.”
Dancer says he expects there will be bipartisan support for his bill.