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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — “NOT GUILTY” VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found “not guilty” of all charges.

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Homemade Guns in New Jersey

Homemade Guns in New Jersey

Since the existence of the second amendment, Americans have been making and modifying their own guns. Hundreds of years of tradition and history have made the practice a cultural staple here in the US. Although this freedom is coveted and extremely well protected, the manufacturing and sale of deadly weapons have been controlled very strictly within the last few decades by the federal government in order to better protect the American people. Regardless of new and heavy regulations, it remains entirely legal for a person to build their own gun. Additionally, if someone decides to manufacture their own gun within their home, they are not required to register the weapon or have a gun license.

Homemade Guns

Although the practice of building one’s own gun within one’s own home has always been legal it is hardly a practical option considering the modern technology used to produce precision firearms. The technology used to build guns in the modern era are highly automated and computerized, leaving little room for human error. Many average American citizens do not have the sort of access to this technology that manufacturing a gun would require. Although this may be true, newer and more advanced technology such as 3D printers and partial receivers allow for a much easier process by which average citizens may be able to manufacture their own guns with even greater success.

The component of the firearm which contains the entirety of the mechanical pieces within the gun and also functions to fire the bullet is called a “receiver”. By purchasing a finished receiver, it allows a person to build a gun by simply adding the necessary components to the premade receiver and compiling the components together. The required components to add to the receiver include the barrel, stock, magazine, and trigger mechanism. Finished receivers in particular are indeed regulated by the federal government and require purchasing the item through a licensed firearms dealer as well as a licence to own the receiver and a background check.

On the other hand, an unfinished receiver or “ghost gun” or “partial receiver” cannot be trace and does not require any registration of the weapon or a background check in order to purchase one. It is similar to a finished receiver although the difference being that it comes without certain components that allow them to remain unregulated by the federal government since it cannot be classified as a firearm. These partial receivers are legally sold throughout the country both online and in person.

New Jersey Regulation

In more recent times, modern technology and methods can make regulation a very difficult issue. Ghost guns may allow criminals and underground organization much more freedom to do as they please because of untraceable and unregulated weapons, which may pose a real threat to society. On the other hand, this freedom to build homemade guns has been legal for centuries and making this process illegal could possibly have harsh political repercussions. As always the safety of the people should come first regardless of what that may require.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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South Jersey criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty is conveniently located in Atlantic City, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Brigantine, Buena, Cape May, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Estell Manor, Folsom, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Longport, Margate, Mullica Township, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic, Somers Point, Ventnor,  and Waymouth.