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David Bahuriak, Founder

Weapons Offenses/Graves Act

New Jersey has some of the nation’s most oppressive Gun statutes in the nation.  The primary statute is known as the “Graves Act” and is infamous for its harsh penalties which apply even to first time offenders and citizens who become entangled in a violation of the law as a result of the State’s absurd and confusing firearms regulations.  The Bahuriak Law Group understands the Graves Act and other New Jersey Gun Laws and can help you whatever your circumstance may be.

The “Graves Act ”  is defined at N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6(c), and requires the imposition of a minimum term of imprisonment and parole ineligibility for certain gun-related crimes such as:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Machine Gun, Handgun, Rifle or Shotgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(a), (b) or (c).
  •  Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(b).
  • Possession of a Defaced Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3(d).
  •  Possession of a Firearm While in the Course of Committing a Drug Distribution or Possession With Intent to Distribute Offense, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1(a).
  • Possession of Certain Weapons by Persons Previously Convicted of Specified Offenses, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7(a) or (b)(2).
  • The Manufacture, Transport, or Disposition of a Machine Gun, Sawed-Off Shotgun, or Assault Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(a), (b), or (g).
  • The Defacement of a Firearm, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-9(e).

Except as otherwise provided or negotiated, a person convicted of any of the foregoing crimes must be sentenced to a term of imprisonment with a minimum term of parole ineligibility fixed at, or between, one-third to one-half of a sentence imposed, or three years, whichever is greater (or eighteen months in cases involving crimes of the Fourth Degree). For example, if a person is convicted of the “Graves Act” offense of Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(b), a crime of the Second Degree, the sentencing range is between five and ten years New Jersey State Prison with a period of parole ineligibility of between three and five years.

A person convicted of a “Graves Act” offense who has previously been convicted of certain firearms offenses must be sentenced to a mandatory extended term of imprisonment, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3(d). When this section is applicable, the sentence imposed must include a minimum term of parole ineligibility fixed at or between one-third to one-half of the extended term sentence, or five years, whichever is greater.

In certain scenarios, the mandatory sentencing provisions of the “Graves Act” can be waived.  The Bahuriak Law Group knows how to navigate the applicable statutory provisions and negotiate for a “Graves Act” waiver if appropriate under the circumstances.  Because of the severity of the punishment and the strict procedural requirements in obtaining a waiver, you need an expert in New Jersey Gun laws as your advocate.  The BLG knows how to handle your “Graves Act” case and are ardent believers in the Right to Bear Arms as guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

To further discuss your New Jersey Gun case with us, call the BLG at 215-413-1150 or contact us here for more information.



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