This week, New Jersey's Assembly approved legislation banning ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds and semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The vote was 44-34.
The legislation, approved by the state's Senate last week, now heads to Gov. Chris Christie's desk. Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said the legislation "will be carefully examined in the 45-day review period we have prior to taking action."
If Christie signs the legislation, owners of banned guns will have 180 days to exchange or surrender their guns, or render them inoperable.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D) said "tragedies can be reduced if not eliminated by passing legislation like this," because criminals will be forced to reload more frequently. However, in the worst mass shooting in American history, at Virginia Tech University in 2007, the perpetrator was able to reload numerous times.
Would-be victims are much better off when they can defend themselves with their own standard-capacity firearms and magazines than when they are left to hope a rampaging murderer (who could easily obtain illegal magazines) will pause long enough for them to attack with their hands, feet, or whatever is available. Yet obtaining a concealed carry permit in New Jersey is all but impossible for most ordinary citizens.
The Associated Press reported that Greenwald also characterized the legislation as only a "welcome step toward the goal of preventing gun violence," suggesting that Greenwald believes that the magazine limit should be tightened further or the gun ban should be expanded to cover even more types of guns. New Jersey started banning "assault firearms" and limiting magazine capacity in 1990, and anti-gun legislators like Greenwald clearly aren't finished with those efforts.
We urge you contact Governor Christie's office and respectfully ask him to veto this ill-considered restraint on lawful self-defense. The Governor's contact information is provided below:
Governor Chris Christie: