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NJ Gun Laws: How Has Chris Christie Handled Firearm Rules?

Image: NJ Gun Laws: How Has Chris Christie Handled Firearm Rules?
(Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 08:51 PM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie angered many advocates of gun control when he vetoed a bill that would have made the size of an ammunition magazine smaller.

In July 2014, Christie said the legislation, which would have reduced the number of bullets in a magazine to 10 from 15, wouldn’t have reduced gun violence.

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“This is the very embodiment of reform in name only,” Christie said after the veto, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported. “It simply defies common sense to believe that imposing a new and entirely arbitrary number of bullets that can be lawfully loaded into a firearm will somehow eradicate, or even reduce, future instances of mass violence. Nor is it sufficient to claim that a ten-round capacity might spare an eleventh victim.”

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Camden), sponsor of the bill, called Christie’s veto a "cowardly decision that lacks leadership."

"I would imagine this is a very uncomfortable topic to have with conservative voters in Iowa and New Hampshire," Greenwald said in July.

Before it was vetoed, Greenwald’s bill, A2006, would have revised the "definition of a ‘large capacity ammunition magazine’ to reduce the allowable rounds of ammunition from 15 to 10. The bill also designates a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds as a prohibited assault firearm. Currently, they are not included as an assault firearm unless the capacity exceeds 15 rounds.” The legislation also would have allowed retired police officers who are authorized to possess and carry a handgun in New Jersey “to continue to carry a large capacity ammunition magazine which is capable of holding up to 15 rounds.”

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The bill was written in response to the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, that critically injured Congresswoman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, along with 12 others, and killed six people.

While Christie was roundly criticized for his veto of A2006, he was also praised for it from the state’s gun advocacy organization, the Star-Ledger reported.

"After months of intense battle over this misguided legislation that won't stop another crime or prevent another tragedy, we are grateful that Governor Christie has heard the voice of the outdoor community and ended the discussion,” Scott Bach, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs, said in a statement. “The governor clearly recognizes the difference between legislation that punishes violent criminals vs. legislation that targets the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Christie’s stance on A2006 was in some contrast to what he was trying to do to in 2013 to restrict access to firearms. That year, the Republican governor signed legislation that made stiffer penalties for the unlawful possession and smuggling of firearms and required the state to submit mental health records to the federal government.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie angered many advocates of gun control when he vetoed a bill that would have made the size of an ammunition magazine smaller.
nj, gun, laws, chris christie
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2014-51-25
Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 08:51 PM
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