Far from the first time, New Jersey anti-gun politicians are once again attempting to implement duplicate gun control legislation and call it a victory. “Bump stocks” are already prohibited in New Jersey under the state’s existing and Draconian semi-auto “assault weapons ban” because it has a pistol grip and a retractable stock, a combination of prohibited features that make them unlawful. Under current law, the stock would constitute a “part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert the firearm into an assault firearm…” N.J.S. 2C:39-1w(5)).
This raises the obvious question, why introduce redundant legislation? The answer to that rhetorical question is simple. They want to give the appearance they are doing something about “gun violence” when quite the opposite is true. New Jersey has some of the country’s most violent neighborhoods and, at the same time, some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws. This latest legislative effort is more proof of what we’ve maintained all along. Rather than focus on real problems like drug and gang violence or mental health, anti-gun politicians focus on harassing lawful gun owners and passing legislation that does nothing to punish criminals. It is clear bump stocks aren’t the problem in violence-plagued cities like Trenton, Camden, Paterson and Newark. And, they are already prohibited, so how is this latest legislative effort going to have any impact? Quite simply: it won’t.
This knee jerk reaction is certainly expected and is nothing more than a calculated ploy to generate headlines after a horrific tragedy. The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee will hear A.5200 (which hasn’t even been introduced yet) in the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 2 p.m.
The current ban has done nothing substantive to reduce “gun violence,” and neither will another mirror measure. These hardware bans have been proven time and time again to be ineffective at preventing criminal activity. This is a clear sign of things to come in Trenton. We would urge members to remind their legislators to focus on punishing actual criminals and stop harassing law-abiding gun owners.