The following is a video transcript.

I’m here today to talk about customizing guns. We love our guns. It’s fun to customize them, put cool stuff on them, make them better, more useful, and more beneficial for our own shooting. But you can have problems in New Jersey when you customize a gun.

What are the “Offending Features” of Gun Customization?

If you add certain offending features to semi-automatic firearms, you can inadvertently turn them into an assault firearm. And if you do, your possession of the gun is an extraordinarily serious offense. Not only is it a felony level offense, but you’re looking at up to 10 years in state prison. Offending features include a pistol grip, a folding stock, a telescoping stock, a grenade launcher, a flash suppressor, and a threaded barrel. If you customize them, you’re not allowed more than one offending feature.

Can I Refinish my gun?

Now the other thing with customizing; you might want to refinish your gun, put a nice Cerakote or some other type of finish. But you’ve got to be aware that you should not remove any maker’s marks, model numbers, or identification marks—not just serial numbers. If those numbers are removed, you can be charged with an offense under Jersey law for essentially having the ground-off serial number charge, even though it wasn’t a serial number that was removed. So be careful in customizing that you don’t end up (even inadvertently) removing any marks.

Can I Put a Name on my Gun?

Finally, do not put inflammatory names on your guns, no matter how cool they are. If you have a gun you use for self-defense and you have engraved on it “The Death Killer 2000,” that’s not going to look good in front of a jury. People have gotten into trouble because they had various names on their firearms that appear to be aggressive, that appear to imply the person was looking to cause damage and problems. Be wary of that. Do not customize your gun with names; that might be a problem in front of a jury.

If you have any other questions about customizing your firearm, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney. I’ll be happy to speak with you.