TRENTON – In the wake of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to limit the capacity of certain gun magazines in New Jersey.
“The Newtown shooter fired multiple magazines, each one with thirty bullets. It took him all of ten minutes to murder 20 children and six adults. The time it took to render them lifeless is as disturbing as the death toll,” said Cryan. “What makes these high-capacity magazines so deadly is the number of rounds that can be fired in a short span. The staff at the school, the children, God rest their souls, had no chance against the amount of ammunition that the shooter armed himself with. This is why I’m introducing this bill to restrict gun magazines in New Jersey. We cannot wait for the next tragedy before we take action. These victims and their families deserve better. Enough is enough.”
Under current law, it is unlawful to own or possess an ammunition magazine that is capable of holding more than 15 rounds of ammunition. The bill would reduce the maximum capacity of a legal ammunition magazine in New Jersey to five rounds. The bill would take effect immediately.
The bill is the first in a series that will be introduced as part of Cryan’s gun safety campaign.
According to media reports, Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle, which police said was fed by 30-round magazines, during his rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School. He also carried a Glock 10mm handgun and Sig Sauer 9mm handgun. Although authorities have not revealed the models of those weapons, both of those handguns allow high-capacity clips.
Legislators in Connecticut abandoned a proposal last year that would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets, and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state. Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates.
“We mourn with the families who lost loved ones. What happened in Newtown is every parent’s worst nightmare magnified. We still don’t know what triggered such a heinous act, but there are things we can do to try to prevent the next one,” said Cryan. “These shootings are becoming too common in this country. No one should live in fear of becoming a victim, especially our children.”
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