Ravenwood reports that New Jersey Assemblyman Louis Manzo has introduced legislation that
authorizes the forfeiture of “motor vehicle, building or premise” if a firearm is found in it that is not possessed legally per state law – “even if the firearm was not possessed by the owner of the motor vehicle, building or premise,” states a summary of the bill, A3998.
I bet Assemblyman Manzo got the idea from El Cajon, California’s practice of confiscating automobiles from men who solicit prostitutes. Even if the men don’t own the cars they’re driving at the time. However, Ravenwood points out:
If you catch a robber who has an illegal gun, will the police come arrest the guy, and then take your house? What if the guy that steals your car has an illegal gun? Will you never get it back?
Good questions, and grounds, I think, for this legislation to die a pretty quick and vicious death. But what if (as a compromise measure, you understand) the “even if” language is struck from the bill?
What comes to my mind is the story of Joseph Pelleteri and his eeeevil assault weapon, a Marlin Model 60. Under this legislation, Mr. Pelleteri could have lost his house, not just his firearms collection, freedom, and livelihood.
And in New Jersey, I can believe that legislation would be viable. Remember, in New Jersey the state Supreme Court says: