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Redundant Bump Stock Legislation in Full Senate & Assembly
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 On the heels of last month’s committee votes to ban “bump stocks,” the full Senate and Assembly are respectively scheduled to vote on S3477 and A5200  today (01/05/18) and Monday (01/08/17) – the last two voting days of the expiring legislative session.

Introduced by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D37) in November, the legislation seeks to ban “bump-stocks,” even though they are already prohibited under New Jersey’s existing “assault” firearms law, according to New Jersey firearms law expert Evan Nappen (because they possess two “offending features” - a pistol grip and a telescoping stock, thus constituting a “part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert the firearm into an assault firearm…” N.J.S. 2C:39-1w(5)).

The legislation would not make anyone safer and would not change the fact that bump stocks are already prohibited in the Garden State.  They would remain prohibited whether the legislation passes or is defeated, so the effort to move the bill appears largely symbolic and calculated to make headlines. 

Hardware bans are ignored by criminals, and are easily circumvented by those bent on doing evil -- who will not be deterred and will simply find another tool.  Only those who follow the law are impacted, which solves nothing. 

Rushing the bill during the last few days of the Christie Administration, instead of waiting until Governor-elect Phil Murphy takes office, reinforces that gun ban politicians have been frustrated by their defeats over the past 8 years and are chomping at the bit to unleash a fresh torrent of attacks on gun owners and sportsmen.

Even though bump stocks would remain prohibited in New Jersey regardless of the outcome of this legislation, gun owners may nevertheless wish to contact all Senators and Assembly members to point out the absurdity of trying to “ban” something that is already prohibited, and to urge them instead to take up measures severely punishing violent gun criminals rather than targeting hardware.

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