Democrat Phil Murphy pledged today that if he is elected governor of New Jersey, he will sign legislation that would ban .50 caliber weapons.
Gov. Chris Christie campaigned for stronger gun laws, and after the 2012 Sandy Hook gun massacre he proposed banning .50-caliber rifles. But he then vetoed the billt he following year because, arguing that it went too far. He rejected a proposal to limit ammunition magazine sizes and to prohibit certain convicted criminals from possessing firearms. He also vetoed legislation that would require retailers to sell smart guns, which are personalized firearms that use technology to prevent children or unauthorized users from firing the weapons.
Murphy today praised Democratic Senators Dick Codey and Nina Gill for introducing new legislation that would ban the.50 caliber weapons. Such military-grade weapons were illegal until the federal Assault Weapon Ban lapsed in 2004.
“I thank Senators Codey and Gill for listening to the will of their constituents and taking tangible steps to move sensible gun safety measures forward,” Murphy said. “Military-grade weapons have no place in our homes and on our streets. I urge the entire legislature to swiftly consider this bill. If Governor Christie vetoes it yet again, I pledge to sign it if elected.”
The legislature is also considering a “bump stock” ban, the accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter to effectively turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully-automatic one.
Republican candidate Kim Guadagno has said in the past that she doesn’t believe the state needs any new gun control laws because the state already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. She said the gun laws should be enforced properly. She does wants to reexamine existing gun transport laws.
“I was incredibly disappointed to see Lieutenant Governor Guadagno refuse to talk about these sensible gun safety measures put forward by the legislature, even going so far as saying she would not even consider supporting any new gun legislation,” Murphy said. “One must wonder if that silence has anything to do with a desire to maintain her ‘A’ rating from the NRA. The NRA gave me an ‘F,’ and I’ve never been more proud of a failing grade in my life.”