Christie to decide if NJ bans gun device used in Las Vegas shooting

//Christie to decide if NJ bans gun device used in Las Vegas shooting

Christie to decide if NJ bans gun device used in Las Vegas shooting

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It’s now up to Gov. Chris Christie to decide whether New Jersey bans a firearm accessory allegedly used by the gunman in last year’s Las Vegas massacre. 

The Democratic-controlled state Assembly voted 69-0 at the Statehouse in Trenton on Monday to give final approval to a bill that would prohibit the sale and possession of “bump stocks” in the state.

Bump stocks can be affixed to semiautomatic riffles to allow them to fire bullets, mimicking automatic weapons. 

Christie: I’m open to more curbs on gun device used in Las Vegas shooting

“A bump stock makes it possible for a shooter to maximize the death toll in a massacre, a fact that became painfully clear in Las Vegas,” Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union, said in a statement. “Taking these products off the market in New Jersey is about keeping communities across our state safe.”

The gunman in the Las Vegas shooting in October– which left 58 people dead and more than 500 more injured — had 12 of the accessories in his hotel room, authorities said. That sparked a heated national debate on the devices.

The New Jersey measure (S3477/A5200) passed the state Senate 28-0, with 12 abstentions, this past Friday. Now, with the Assembly’s approval, it heads to Christie’s desk.

It’s unclear whether Christie will sign the measure before he leaves office Jan. 16. The Republican governor — who has long been opposed to more gun-control measures — indicated last year that he’d be open to more regulation on bump stocks. 

The accessories are technically already restricted by state law in New Jersey to the point where they cannot legally be used as a weapon. This legislation would be an outright ban.

If Christie doesn’t sign the bill, his successor, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, a Democrat, would sign likely sign if lawmakers again pass it in the new legislative session that begins noon Tuesday. 

The legislation would make the sale or possession of a bump stock a third-degree crime. Any gun owners with the accessory would have 90 days to to surrender them.

Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01.

2018-01-09T17:13:56+00:00