Convicted domestic abusers and defendants under restraining orders would face severely restricted access to firearms, if a bill co-sponsored by shore State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) becomes law.

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Bill S-2483, a bipartisan compromise measure co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), won Senate approval.

It would establish a process for immediate surrender of firearms after convictions; require a law enforcement officer to facilitate direct surrender of weapons; include notice of non-compliance penalties with each surrender order; and enhance penalties for domestic violence offenders, including maximum penalties for repeat third- and fourth-degree violations.

Sen. Jennifer Beck
Sen. Jennifer Beck

"This common-sense compromise ensures that when firearms must be surrendered due to conviction or restraining order, there are no gaps where the person still has access to their guns or the ability to cause additional harm," the Monmouth Republican said in prepared remarks.

"For a person subject to a temporary restraining order related to domestic violence, for example, it makes no sense to give them a week to turn in their firearms. You're just giving them a week to do something bad. If the person is such a risk that the restraining order is necessary, the guns should be surrendered immediately."

A Republican spokesperson added that the measure has the support of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of the gun violence prevention group Americans For Responsible Solutions.

"This legislation protects those who have suffered and are at risk of continued domestic abuse," Beck said. "The gaps that this legislation addresses are those periods of time when abusers have proven most likely to commit atrocities that we know we can prevent."

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