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Moriarty Introduces Bill to Ban Binary Triggers, Modification Turns Firearms into Assault Weapons

A 30-round magazine can be emptied in 30 seconds with the use of a trigger adaptation called a binary trigger. Manufactured by gun makers to circumvent the national ban on bump stocks, the binary trigger allows a firearm to shoot one bullet when the trigger is pulled and one when the trigger is released.

“A binary trigger turns a firearm into an assault rifle in minutes; and magnifies the impact a shooter can have with this weapon by seconds,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester). “We’ve seen what a shooter with a bump stock, a similar type of adaptation that increases firing speed, can do. We may not be able to stop the manufacturing of these tools; however, we can discourage sales and ensure that any individual who is in possession of one is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Moriarty introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban this type of modification, establish a crime of possessing or selling a binary trigger and clarify that a firearm affixed with a binary trigger constitutes a machine gun.  The bill was prompted by this New York Times article.

“Acts of mass gun violence cannot be our new norm,” continued Moriarty. “If it takes banning firearm modifications like this one to protect more innocent people, then that’s what we have to do.”

The measure aims to strengthen current law prohibiting the sale and possession of bump stocks and trigger cranks, which are similar devices that enable a person to fire a semiautomatic firearm at a greater speed than originally intended by the firearm manufacturers.

The Las Vegas mass shooting last year prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to ban bump stocks, which enabled the shooter to fire more than 1100 rounds in 11 minutes.