New Jersey Man Arrested After Using a ‘Ghost Gun’ To Defend Himself Against Two Home Invaders

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BRIDGETON, NJ — A home invasion turned deadly in Cumberland County has put New Jersey’s strict ghost gun laws into sharp focus. Silvestre Marroquin, 31, was fatally shot in an Upper Deerfield residence after reportedly breaking in on Monday night. The homeowner, 24-year-old Kevin Lucero, informed police he acted in defense against two intruders.

While not charged with the shooting, Lucero faces legal consequences for possessing “ghost guns” – unserialized firearms that New Jersey law heavily regulates. Authorities, responding to the Old Deerfield Pike scene, discovered such a weapon near Marroquin’s body and another in the home during a warranted search, leading to Lucero’s arrest.

The second intruder fled and remains unapprehended. Alongside ghost guns, police seized a substantial amount of cash and controlled substances from Lucero’s room.

This event casts a spotlight on the potential ramifications of self-defense scenarios in New Jersey, particularly concerning ghost guns. The state’s laws on ghost guns criminalize the possession, transport, and manufacture of these untraceable firearms, reflecting a robust stance against the recent uptick in ghost gun-related crimes. Perpetrators face severe penalties, with manufacturing ghost guns classified as a second-degree offense, entailing up to a decade in prison and fines reaching $150,000.

The incident in New Jersey brings to the fore the delicate balance between self-defense and legal compliance, especially concerning the state’s ghost gun laws. While the homeowner’s actions may have been driven by an immediate threat, the aftermath and discovery of ghost guns have placed him in legal jeopardy. This case is a stark reminder of the critical need for gun owners to be fully aware of and compliant with their state’s firearm regulations, even when acting in self-defense

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