Las Vegas Shooter Used Device to Allow Semi-Automatic Weapon to Function As Machine Gun
Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano, Sheila Oliver, Speaker Vincent Prieto, Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald, Eric Houghtaling, Joann Downey and Joseph Lagana on Friday announced that they will introduce life-saving legislation to prohibit the sale and possession of a firearm accessory used in the recent massacre in Las Vegas.
The bill would amend state law regarding destructive devices – a list that already includes sawed-off shotguns and silencers – to make the sale or possession of “bump stocks” a third-degree criminal offense in New Jersey. Under the measure, retailers would be required to surrender the devices to police within 30 days. Individuals already in possession of the devices would be required to surrender them to police within 90 days.
“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 earlier this week,” said Quijano (D-Union), chair of the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee. “Taking these products off the market in New Jersey is about keeping communities across our state safe.”
“As our nation mourns the senseless murder of dozens and prays for the swift recovery of the hundreds injured, we have a collective responsibility to seek ways to ensure that an attack of this magnitude never happens again,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “No one should be able to, with mere clicks of a mouse and a few hundred dollars, access a device that facilitates the kind of mass violence America witnessed this week. Banning bump stocks is a common-sense step toward a safer New Jersey.”
“It doesn’t take much to see the connection between the availability of technology that makes mass murder possible and the tragic pattern of mass murder in the United States,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “The broad support for the nation’s automatic weapons ban is rooted in the understanding that we’re not just dealing with muskets and fowlers anymore. The American people recognize that military-style weapons have no place on our streets, and neither does a device capable of transforming any firearm into one.”
“Our nation is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic. Earlier this week, we got 59 tragic reminders that gun policy goes beyond abstract discussion. Lives are at stake,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “With this simple, sensible change to the law, we can prevent the kind of suffering families in Las Vegas and so many other cities throughout America are experiencing today.”
“Bump stocks essentially turn a legal firearm into an illegal firearm,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “Amending the law to ban them simply would close a loophole that endangers the people of New Jersey.”
“When fully automatic weapons have been banned for decades, it follows that a device used to inflict the same degree of bloodshed also should be off the market,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “This is sensible action that will rectify an oversight in the law and save lives.”
“As a gun owner, I’m in full support of the right to own a firearm, but I’m also in full support of practical steps toward safer communities,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “In the same way that fully automatic weapons are banned, bump stocks – which allow firearms to function as fully automatic weapons – must be banned as well.”