Although New Jersey already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, legislators are considering confiscating some popular models of small-caliber rifles by defining them as “assault weapons.”
A bill on the table would reduce magazines from a maximum capacity of15 rounds to 10 rounds, whether they’re detachable or fixed, essentially banning the possession of some popular models of .22-caliber rifles, according to The Washington Times.
The Times reported:
The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs gave the draft legislation to top firearms experts in the country to determine what guns would fall under the expanded ban.
They discovered that the bill would affect tube-fed, semi-automatic rifles because the magazine cannot be separated from the gun.
Thus, the experts found that at least 43 common rifles would suddenly be considered a prohibited “assault firearm,” such as the .22 caliber Marlin Model 60, Remington Nylon 66 and Winchester 190.
The bill categorizes “varmint hunters” and “tin can plinkers” into “assault firearms” simply because they have a fixed magazine.
But that’s not the half of it. The measure would also forbid grandfathering existing weapons under old provisions, meaning the moment the law goes into effect, the owners of such firearms would become instant felons, subject to a mandatory three- to five-year minimum prison sentence, and a maximum of 10 years behind bars.
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“This bill is a gun ban, there’s no question about that,” Scott Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, told The Times. “If it becomes law, it would have zero impact on crime because criminals don’t follow bans. It would only affect legal gun owners by essentially tying their hands when they need to defend their lives.”
Bach said lawmakers seem to be trying to make good on a wish for stricter gun laws someone — apparently a Democratic senator — voiced in a statement unwittingly picked up by a hot mic last year.
“For years, anti-gun Democrats have claimed that they have no agenda to ban and confiscate guns,” Bach said. “But last year, their true agenda was revealed on that hot mic. This bill is another step in that process.”
Someone — either a senator or staff member — was caught saying, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.” At the time, New Jersey Sen. Loretta Weinberg was heard agreeing, saying, according to NJ.com, “They want to keep the guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but they don’t have any regulations to do it.”
An unidentified person in the conversation responded: “They don’t care about the bad guys. All they want to do is have their little guns and do whatever they want with them.”
Both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature are expected to approve the measure, The Times’ Emily Miller reported. That would put the whole ball of wax on the shoulders of Gov. Chris Christie.
Listen to what the mic picked up last May in the Senate.
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