The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee will convene next Monday, December 11, to take action on S.3477, a bump stock ban which is loaded with all the traps and pitfalls that are all too common with New Jersey gun laws. Last week, the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee rubber stamped the Assembly version of the bill, A.5200.
S.3477 goes so far as to punish someone with a third degree crime for “disposal” of a bump stock or trigger crank. Similarly, someone simply transporting the accessory is subject to harsh penalties, meaning a person cannot even drive the object to a local police station or out-of-state without facing ridiculously severe repercussions. A person would also be guilty even without being in possession of a firearm to attach the stock. Again, this bill is clearly not about reducing crime or addressing public safety. The narrow 30-day amnesty period is nothing short of punitive. These individuals purchased a legal product and this bill seems nothing more than an attempt to ensnare honest citizens rather than target real criminals.
Anti-gun legislators want to give the appearance that they are doing something about violent crime 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 law-abiding gun owners and passing legislation that does nothing to punish criminals. It is clear that bump stocks aren’t the problem in violence-plagued cities like Trenton, Camden, Paterson and Newark.
The current ban has done nothing substantive to reduce violent crime, 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.