[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 1-10-1994 as Ord. No. 94-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Present state law, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 23:4-12 et seq., and particularly N.J.S.A. 23:4-16c and d, prohibits any person, for the purpose of hunting, taking or killing any wildlife, casting an arrow or discharging any firearm from or across any state, County, municipal or publicly traveled road or highway, and further prohibits any person, except the owner or lessee of the building and persons specifically authorized by him, in writing, which writing shall be in the person's possession, shall, for the purpose of hunting, taking or killing any wildlife, from having in his possession a loaded firearm or nocked arrow while within 450 feet of any occupied building in this state or of any school playground, said provision being as set forth in the game laws of the State of New Jersey as above described.
State law grants townships the power by ordinance to regulate the sale and use of guns, pistols, firearms and fireworks under N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, Subdivision 18.
Case law has determined that the state law has not preempted this field or prevented a municipality from enacting similar legislation by way of ordinance with the right to make said regulations more restrictive, provided that the same are reasonable and do not permit that which the state has expressly forbidden.
The Mayor and Township Committee finds that the state regulations are not sufficiently broad for the protection of the inhabitants of the Township of Franklin as they relate to public schools and playgrounds as a result of accidental negligent discharge of firearms, arrows and other weapons.
Unless otherwise noted and except to the extent that the context requires a contrary meaning, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
- A missile weapon shot from a bow and having a slender shaft with a pointed head and feathers and a nocked end of shaft.
- As defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1f.
- As defined in N.J.S.A. 39:1-1, which shall include any public traveled way, be it state, County or municipal.
- OCCUPIED BUILDING
- Any structure constructed or adapted for overnight accommodation of persons or for operating a business or engaging in any activity therein, whether or not a person is actually present. This definition shall specifically include a school building.
- Any weapon, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:39-1r, which projects a missile or releases any thing, including but not limited to a firearm and a nocked arrow.
- SCHOOL AND SCHOOL PLAYGROUND
- The property owned by a public or private entity for educational purposes, which includes the lands that surround or adjoin an occupied building utilized for school purposes and which includes recreational fields and parking areas for vehicles, irrespective of whether the lands are owned by the school, educational facility or third parties.
- The Township of Franklin, in the County of Warren and the State of New Jersey.
Any person who possesses a loaded firearm or a nocked arrow or projectile weapon and the appropriate projectile therefore is presumed to be in possession of a loaded weapon.
The discharge of a firearm, nocked arrow or projectile from a weapon in violation of this chapter by any person shall be presumptive that the person had in his possession a loaded weapon.
No person shall:
Possess or carry on his person or in any vehicle a loaded firearm, bow and nocked arrow or projectile weapon for any purpose within 450 feet of any occupied building in the Township of Franklin or any school property, playground or parking areas, as above defined, whether they are physically occupied or not.
Discharge a firearm or projectile weapon or cast a nocked arrow from or across any highway or public road for any purpose.
The provisions of § 75-4A(1) shall not apply to any person who is the owner or lessee of an occupied building or any person specifically authorized by him, in writing, which writing shall be in the person's possession, with the exception that the same shall not apply for any said act as prohibited in § 75-4A(1) within 1,000 feet of a school, school playground or school parking area.
Any person who violates any portion of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment in the Warren County Jail for a period of time not to exceed 90 days or by a period of community service not to exceed 90 days, or any or all of the same.