New Jersey considers collecting, analyzing data on guns seized from criminals

A gun buyback program in Trenton

A gun buyback program in Trenton

New Jersey lawmakers will consider a measure Monday that’s intended to help get illegal guns off the streets.

The bill would direct the state attorney general to maintain a central repository for all information about the guns found or seized by law enforcement in New Jersey, said sponsor Assemblyman Gary Schaer.

“Today, each police department and sheriff’s department will confiscate guns as the result of a crime, and we have no knowledge of origin except that they found out,” said Schaer, D-Passaic. “There’s no centralized analysis of what’s going on.”

A centralized clearing house could help determine where the firearms are coming from and how they’re ending up in the hands of criminals in New Jersey.

“Within the state, we need our own database,” said Schaer. “Certainly the national databases are extraordinarily important, but we need to know within New Jersey itself what it going on, and why, and how we can best combat it.”

The centralized state analysis of information about the seized weapons could be used to develop strategies to identify firearms traffickers.

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