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SilenceCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader , It’s New Jersey What Did You Expect?

Monday, November 6, 2017 7:33
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(Before It's News)

By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D’Andrilli

SilenceCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader BannedSilenceCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader Banned Arbalest QuarrelArbalest Quarrel

New York, NY  -(Ammoland.com)-  The Arbalest Quarrel has previously analyzed New York State gun laws to determine whether a New York resident, who wishes to own and possess the Maxim 50 “integrally suppressed muzzleloader,” manufactured by SilenceCo, can lawfully do so.

SilenceCo says that civilians can do so in all 50 States, which, then, includes New York. SilenceCo says that, in most States, individuals can purchase the Maxim 50 directly through interstate commerce, direct from the manufacturer, SilenceCo, meaning that an individual need not purchase the Maxim 50 through an intermediary, meaning a licensed dealer in firearms. According to SilenceCo, a civilian, who desires to purchase the Maxim 50 in some jurisdictions—which includes New York—that civilian can still do so but must obtain the Maxim 50 through a licensed gun dealer. That means that a person who wishes to purchases theMaxim 50 in a jurisdiction, such as  New York, and certain other jurisdictions that SilenceCo mentions on its website, can do so but can only do so through a licensed gun dealer, operating and doing business in the State in which the individual resides.Specifically, SilenceCo says this:

“For the first time since the National Firearms Act (NFA)* was created in 1934, civilians can enjoy suppressed shooting in all 50 states with SilencerCo’s latest innovation: the integrally suppressed Maxim 50 muzzleloader. In addition, this product can be purchased right now on the web with no regulation (no 4473, no $200 tax stamp, no photographs, and no fingerprints) and be shipped immediately to the customer with few exceptions.” 

New York is one of those few exceptions, according to the manufacturer. SilenceCo says a prospective purchaser, residing in New York may still obtain the weapon, but must do so, not directly, through interstate commerce, shipped directly to the purchaser’s home, but, indirectly, through a holder of an FFL. Is this statement true?

SilencerCo Maxim 50 Muzzleloader RifleSilencerCo Maxim 50 Muzzleloader Rifle

Through our own detailed research of New York gun laws, the Arbalest Quarrel concluded that, contrary to SilenceCo’s pronouncements, the Maxim 50 is illegal in New York, SilenceCo’s. No reputable licensed gun dealer will, under New York law, accept delivery of a Maxim 50 for ultimate disposition to a civilian.

SilenceCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader

Since a New York resident cannot legally accept delivery of the Maxim 50, either directly from the manufacturer, SilenceCo, orindirectly, from the manufacturer, through a licensed gun dealer, no New York resident (a civilian), can legally possess the Maxim 50. You can read our highly detailed, comprehensive analysis of the impact of New York firearms laws on the issue of the legality/illegality of the Maxim 50 in New York, on the Arbalest Quarrel website, under the title, Is the “Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader”, Manufactured by Silenceco, Legal in the State of New York?” Also, in that Arbalest Quarrel article on the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, as part of our detailed, comprehensive analysis, we discuss, in depth and at length, the concept of a‘firearm,’ under federal law as well as under New York law.

The legality of civilian ownership and possession of the Maxim 50 must satisfy both federal law as well as the laws of the jurisdiction where the civilian, desiring to possess the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, resides. Under federal law, the Maxim 50 does not satisfy the federal definition of ‘firearm,’ and, so, does not fall within the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934. Since we have previously discussed application of federal law to the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, at length, in our previous article on the Maxim 50, apropos of New York law, we won’t reiterate the points here, but invite interested readers, once again, to peruse our in depth analysis in our article–Is the “Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader”, Manufactured by Silenceco, Legal in the State of New York?”

After posting our article, a second reader asked the Arbalest Quarrel whether the average law-abiding civilian, not under disability, may lawfully own and possess the “Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader” in New Jersey.

Now we can cut to the chase here because, as of the date of the posting of this article, SilenceCo will not ship the Maxim 50 either directly to a resident of New Jersey or indirectly, to a resident of New Jersey, through a licensed dealer operating and doing business in New Jersey. This statement contradicts SilenceCo’s claim;

“that civilians can enjoy suppressed shooting in all 50 states with SilencerCo’s latest innovation: the integrally suppressed Maxim 50 muzzleloader” asserts, at another point on its website, that the Company will not ship the Maxim 50 in three States, even indirectly through a licensed firearms dealer—operating and doing business in New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts. SilenceCo says, of these three States, Maxim 50 is currently restricted in these states pending legal determinations.”

So, SilenceCo will not ship the Maxim 50 even to a licensed dealer operating and doing business in New Jersey, California or Massachusetts.” This means that a resident cannot lawfully obtain the weapon even indirectly through a licensed gun dealer, because it would be illegal to do so, as the Maxim 50 is banned in those States.

But, is that, in fact, true, and, if so, why?

One website “Range365,” had this to say about the problem SilenceCo is having with New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts: 

“As soon as the company announced the gun and its legal status, it was challenged by lawyers and authorities in three states with some of the toughest gun laws in the country and where suppressors are banned at a state level: New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts. Here’s an official statement from SilencerCo regarding the legal status of the Maxim 50: ‘Upon launching the Maxim 50, SilencerCo received several immediate legal challenges from authorities and lawyers in the states of New Jersey, California, and Massachusetts. Since we have no desire to place any consumer in a situation where they may get arrested and charged with a felony because their state defines a firearm differently than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), we have placed orders from those states on hold and are refunding customers pending conversations amongst lawyers. These three states have rules that are not entirely clear with respect to firearms and silencers and antique firearms, and it is relevant to point out that no states contemplated a product of this sort in their laws. 

Muzzleloaders are considered “‘antique firearms’” by the ATF, and therefore, the Maxim 50′s integral suppressor isn’t considered a suppressor.

SilencerCo asked for and received a determination from the BATFE on behalf of the federal government prior to launch but could not do so officially from each state government or risk specific state-level legislation being passed prohibiting the product before it was even launched. We will refund orders to customers from these states and update consumers as soon as feasible as to the ultimate determination in California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. “We believe that law­ abiding citizens should have the ability to purchase and own silencers, regardless of what state they live in. We will continue our efforts in advocacy and encourage all who share our desire to take action and contact their elected representatives by visiting www.fightthenoise.org.’

Federally, the Maxim 50 is considered legal because, as a muzzleloader, it is defined as an “antique firearm” and not a “firearm” by the ATF, which exempts them from many gun laws. Muzzleloaders are not required to go through an FFL (they are in NJ) and can be shipped right to your door, in most states. Likewise, because the integral suppressor can’t be removed or attached to a “firearm,” it is not considered a suppressor and is not subject to National Firearms Act regulations.”

The Maxim 50 is currently restricted in these states pending legal determinations. So, SilenceCo will not ship the Maxim 50 even to a licensed dealer operating and doing business in New Jersey, California or Massachusetts.” 

The Arbalest Quarrel, for its part, doesn’t assume any assertion, involving legal issues, is true until we analyze the applicable laws impacting firearms in the respective jurisdictions ourselves, and, having done so, then explain our findings to interested readers. So, let us begin, forthwith.

DOES THE MAXIM 50 COME UNDER THE PURVIEW OF NEW JERSEY GUN CONTROL LAWS?

New Jersey law utilizes some of the language of federal firearms law, but, as with New York firearms law, New Jersey firearms law has its own unique twists and wrinkles.

IS THE MAXIM 50 DEFINED AS A FIREARM UNDER NEW JERSEY GUN CONTROL LAWS?

We go to the New Jersey Annotated Statutes for the answer.

Let’s look at some definitions.

We turn to N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1 of Title 2C, The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice  >  Subtitle 2. Specific Offenses  >  Part 5. Offenses Against the Public; Public Order, Health and Decency  >  Chapter 39. Weapons. First, we look at the definition of ‘firearm.’

N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1 of Title 2C says, “the following definitions apply to this chapter [Chapter 39 (Weapons)] and to Chapter 58 [Possession of Firearms].”

DEFINITION OF ‘FIREARM’ IN NEW JERSEY LAW:

N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(f) says this: “‘Firearm’ means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances. It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.”

The Maxim 50 fits the New Jersey definition of ‘firearm.’ So, the Maxim 50 is a firearm under New Jersey firearms laws.

DEFINITION OF ‘ANTIQUE FIREARM’ IN NEW JERSEY LAW:

N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(a) says this: “‘Antique firearm’ means any rifle or shotgun and “antique cannon” means a destructive device defined in paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section, if the rifle, shotgun or destructive device, as the case may be, is incapable of being fired or discharged, or which does not fire fixed ammunition, regardless of date of manufacture, or was manufactured before 1898 for which cartridge ammunition is not commercially available, and is possessed as a curiosity or ornament or for its historical significance or value.”

The manufacturer says, in its product manual, to “USE ONLY BLACK POWDER OR APPROVED BLACK POWDER SUBSTITUTE IN YOUR MUZZLELOADER.” So, then, the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, is also an “antique firearm.

WHY, SPECIFICALLY, THE MAXIM 50 IS BOTH A FIREARM UNDER NEW JERSEY LAW AND AN ANTIQUE FIREARM UNDER NEW JERSEY LAW

Clearly, under New Jersey law, the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader is a firearm under New Jersey law precisely because the weapon does fire a “solid projectable ball, slug, missile or bullet. . . by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances.”  But, the weapon is also an “antique firearm” under New Jersey law precisely because the weapon “does not fire fixed ammunition.” * The conclusion we are forced to draw is singularly bizarre, to be sure, but true, nonetheless, given the definitions provided to us in the New Jersey Annotated Statutes: A weapon, any muzzleloader that is either a shotgun or rifle satisfies the definitions of both a ‘firearm’ and an ‘antique firearm’ under New Jersey firearms laws. So, some weapons. including, then, the Maxim 50, can be both a firearm and an antique firearm. This makes the concept of ‘antique firearm’, then, essentially redundant.

Thus, under New Jersey law, unlike the situation in federal law, a muzzleloader, that does not fire fixed ammunition, is both a firearm and an antique firearm. This fact is important as it leads directly to the question whether a person, namely a civilian, not under disability, who seeks to purchase a muzzleloader rifle or shotgun–any muzzleloader rifle or shotgun–must obtain a valid New Jersey firearms identification card to do so, lawfully. To explain this, we turn, once again, to New Jersey Statute.

DOES PURCHASE OF A MUZZLELOADER IN NEW JERSEY REALLY REQUIRE A FIREARMS IDENTIFICATION CARD?

N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-3(b) Purchase of Firearms, of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes  >  Title 2C. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice  >  Subtitle 3. Sentencing  >  Chapter 58. Possession of Firearms; Licensing Firearms purchaser identification card says: “No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of nor receive, purchase or otherwise acquire an antique cannon or a rifle or shotgun, other than an antique rifle or shotgun, unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card, and first exhibits the card to the seller, donor, transferor or assignor, and unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder signs a written certification, on a form prescribed by the superintendent, which shall indicate that he presently complies with the requirements of subsection c. of this section and shall contain his name, address and firearms purchaser identification card number or dealer’s registration number. The certification shall be retained by the seller, as provided in paragraph (4) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:58-2, or, in the case of a person who is not a dealer, it may be filed with the chief of police of the municipality in which he resides or with the superintendent.”

Pay particular attention to the first conjunct of the sentence: “No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of nor receive, purchase or otherwise acquire an antique cannon or a rifle or shotgun, other than an antique rifle or shotgun, unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or possesses a valid firearms purchaser identification card.” Under a reasonable construction of N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-3(b), this would suggest that a person (civilian), not under disability, who resides in New Jersey, does not require a valid firearms purchaser identification card to possess an antique rifle or shotgun. But, if an antique rifle and an antique shotgun are also defined as ‘firearms’–and they are defined as ‘firearms’ under N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(f)–then a valid firearms purchaser identification card is required. Clearly the two Statutes, N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-3(b) and N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(f), are inconsistent. The two Statutes are in conflict as to the issue whether a resident of New Jersey is required to hold a valid firearms purchaser identification card to possess an antique rifle or antique shotgun. The problem arises because, under the definition of ‘firearm,’ as set forth in N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(f), there is no distinction made between weapons that fire “fixed ammunition,” namely and essentially, those weapons that utilize cartridges, and those that do not, namely, those that utilize black powder as a propellant, along with a separate ball or pellet, as is the case with muzzleloaders, such as the Maxim 50.

Is this conflict due to devious design in the drafting or due to inadvertent ignorance or negligence? Who can say?

SilencerCo Maxim 50 Suppressed MuzzleloaderSilencerCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader

Okay, then. So, the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, is both a “firearm” and an “antique firearm” under New Jersey law. In either event, a person, who is a civilian residing in New Jersey, and who is not under disability, can lawfully possess a rifle that is muzzleloader and a shotgun that is a muzzleloader. But, in either case, that person must first obtain a valid New Jersey firearms identification card to do so, lawfully. These weapons are not banned in New Jersey. Is that all we should be concerned about, when dealing with the Maxim 50? That, indeed, would be the only thing that we would have to worry about, if the Maxim 50 were an ordinary muzzleloader. 

But, wait a second! The Maxim 50 is not an ordinary muzzleloader. Yes, the Maxim 50 is a firearm under New Jersey law and it is also an “antique firearm,” under New Jersey law, but, specifically, it is both a firearm and an antique firearm that, under either or both definitions, utilizes a suppressor, integrated into the weapon, according to the manufacturer. In fact, that is the significant and defining feature of the Maxim 50 and a significant selling point. The weapon comes equipped with an integrated firearms suppressor (essentially, an (integrated) “firearms silencer,” under New Jersey law (and we understand that the word ‘firearms silencer’ is inaccurate and essentially a misnomer, as the component “silences” nothing and that the expression ‘firearms suppressor’ is the preferred expression as it this expression that is used in the firearms industry)).

We must now ask a salient and penultimate question: Does New Jersey discuss silencers in its annotated Statutes? Yes, it does.  Yet, this fact is of no substantive legal or logical consequence if “silencers” are legal in New Jersey. But are they? Let’s see.

DEFINITION OF ‘FIREARM SILENCER’ IN NEW JERSEY LAW

N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(g) says this: “‘Firearm silencer’ means any instrument, attachment, weapon or appliance for causing the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm to be silent, or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm.

Important Note: under this definition, the fact that the Maxim 50 weapon makes use of an integrated silencer or suppressor, doesn’t obviate or change  the basic nature of the weapon as a ‘firearm silencer’ under New Jersey law, whether the silencer is integrated into the weapon or not.

Once again, this fact would be of no substantive consequence if “silencers” were legal in New Jersey. But are they? This takes us to the next critical question:

ARE SILENCERS LEGAL IN NEW JERSEY?

No they are not! Why is that? Let’s see. N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3(c), “silencers” of N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3, titled, “Prohibited weapons and devices,” of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes  >  Title 2C. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice  >  Subtitle 2. Specific Offenses  >  Part 5. Offenses Against the Public; Public Order, Health and Decency  >  Chapter 39. Weapons, categorically bans the possession of silencers. N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3(c), “silencers” says this: “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm silencer is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.”

Now we must consider whether the fact that the Maxim 50 is manufactured with a suppressor that is integrated into the weapon serves to override the problem commonly associated with “silencers” as separate components of weapons. This requires us to ask and answer the salient, critical, and ultimate question:

DOES A WEAPON–IN THIS CASE, THE MAXIM 50–THAT UTILIZES A SILENCER (SUPPRESSOR) THAT IS INTEGRATED WITH THE WEAPON, RATHER THAN CONSTRUED AS A SEPARATE COMPONENT OF A WEAPON THAT NEED NOT, THEN, BE UTILIZED WITH THE WEAPON–SATISFACTORILY AVOID THE PROBLEM ASSOCIATED WITH SILENCERS AS ILLEGAL COMPONENTS OF WEAPONS, UNDER NEW JERSEY LAW?

Once again, pay attention to the language of Statute. Under New Jersey law, specifically, N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(g), “‘Firearm silencer’ means any instrumentattachmentweapon or appliance for causing the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm to be silent, or intended to lessen or muffle the noise of the firing of any gun, revolver, pistol or other firearm.”

Under a reasonable interpretation of New Jersey law, a firearm silencer (firearm suppressor) is broadly defined to include many things: instruments, attachments, weapons or appliances. The manner in which the device is employed by or utilized in a weapon–whether separate and apart from a weapon or incorporated in a weapon is, then, irrelevant to its nature and to the question of its lawfulness in New Jersey. The fact, then, that the firearm silencer (firearm suppressor) is integrated into the Maxim 50 is of no moment. Under the definition provided in N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-1(g), the fact that the Maxim 50 weapon makes use of an integrated silencer or suppressor, doesn’t obviate or change the basic nature of the weapon as a ‘firearm silencer’ under New Jersey law, whether the silencer is integrated into the weapon or not. To the extent that a “silencer” is per se “weapon” is sufficient to render it illegal under N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3(c). Again–N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3(c) “silencers” of N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3, titled, “Prohibited weapons and devices,” of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes  >  Title 2C. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice  >  Subtitle 2. Specific Offenses  >  Part 5. Offenses Against the Public; Public Order, Health and Decency  >  Chapter 39. Weapons, categorically bans the possession of silencers. N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-3(c): “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any firearm silencer is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree”–presents an insurmountable problem for SilenceCo and for those individuals, namely residents of New Jersey, civilians, not under disability, who would like to purchase and possess the Maxim 50.

So, the fact that the Maxim 50 is a firearm under New Jersey law and the fact that the Maxim 50 is also an antique firearmunder New Jersey law do not, of themselves, create insurmountable legal hurdles for those individuals–residents of New Jersey, civilians, not under disability–who might wish to own and possess a Maxim 50. But, the fact that the Maxim 50 is also a‘silencer’ does create an insurmountable hurdle for those individuals who seek to own and possess a Maxim 50, in New Jersey. And, this is the problem presently plaguing SilenceCo that would like to be able to market the weapon to civilians in New Jersey. 

Oppression Ahead, New Jersey StyleOppression Ahead, New Jersey Style

BOTTOM LINE:

The Arbalest Quarrel concludes that the Maxim 50 suppressed Muzzleloader, whether construed as a “firearm” or as an “antique firearm” is, in either case, a silencer, under the laws of New Jersey and, therefore, patently illegal for a person to own or possess in New Jersey unless a person falls within the purview of N.J. Stat. § 2C:39-6, titled, Exemptions, which include, inter alia,federal law enforcement officers, Members of the State Police, Members of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard if on actual duty, and licensed dealers in firearms, during the course of their normal business.

Therefore, the average, law-abiding New Jersey resident, who does not fall within an exemption, and who is not under disability, should not attempt to obtain the Maxim 50. To do so is to invite decidedly unpleasant legal repercussions.

As we said in our previous article, determining the legality of the Maxim 50 in New York, whether the Maxim 50 is “legal” in other States requires a separate analysis of each State’s own peculiar firearms’ laws. The Arbalest Quarrel will analyze other State laws to ascertain whether the Maxim 50 is legal in those States, upon specific request of readers.

_________________________________________________

*Note: There is another perplexing wrinkle in New Jersey. New Jersey firearms Statutes make no mention of a handgun in the definition of ‘antique firearm.’ So, do not assume that, because it might appear that a handgun is an “antique,” that the handgun can be treated like an “antique rifle” or “antique shotgun”. It cannot. A handgun that is a muzzleloader is not an “antique firearm” at all under New Jersey law.  Under N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-3(a) Purchase of Firearms, of the New Jersey Annotated Statutes  >  Title 2C. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice  >  Subtitle 3. Sentencing  >  Chapter 58. Possession of Firearms; Licensing Firearms purchaser identification card, a person requires a handgun identification card to purchase and to possess a handgun, regardless of the kind of handgun. N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-3(asays: “Permit to purchase a handgun. No person shall sell, give, transfer, assign or otherwise dispose of, nor receive, purchase, or otherwise acquire a handgun unless the purchaser, assignee, donee, receiver or holder is licensed as a dealer under this chapter or has first secured a permit to purchase a handgun as provided by this section.”

_________________________________________________

Copyright © 2017 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.

About The Arbalest Quarrel:

Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.

For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.

This post SilenceCo Maxim 50 Suppressed Muzzleloader , It’s New Jersey What Did You Expect? appeared first on AmmoLand.com Shooting Sports News .



Source: https://www.ammoland.com/2017/11/maxim-50-banned-new-jersey/

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