Owners of many popular hunting rifles would become felons under a new gun control bill being considered by legislators in a Northeast state.
The New Jersey bill meant to ban so-called assault weapons would make it illegal to own some 30 popular hunting rifles including .22 caliber Marlin 60, the Winchester 190 and the Remington Nylon 66.
The bill would ban the possession or sale of any rifle that could hold more than 10 rounds in New Jersey, fixed or detachable.
If the bill went into effect owners of such legally purchased weapons in New Jersey could face up to 10 years in prison, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs says. The measure, Assembly Bill 2006, contains no amnesty or grandfather clause for people who currently possess such weapons.
“This bill is a gun ban, there’s no question about that,” Scott Bach, the Association’s Executive Director told The Washington 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.”
A Direct Attack on Hunters
The association describes the bill as a “Direct Attack On Gun Owners, Hunters and Sportsmen” that “Would Ban Popular American .22 Rifles.”
The New Jersey legislature website says the bill “designates a semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds as a prohibited assault firearm.” Current New Jersey law makes possession an assault firearm a second degree felony, according to The Times.
Those convicted of a second degree felony in New Jersey face a mandatory sentence of three to five years in prison with no chance of parole and up to 10 years in prison. The association is alleging that the bill would lead to gun confiscation.
“It’s a gun ban that would outlaw some of the most popular .22 rifles in the United States, turn their owners into felons, and force them to abandon their property or go to jail for as long as ten years – essentially a confiscation,” the Association’s website said. Gun owners would have only one alternative: They could transfer their guns out of New Jersey.
Not Just New Jersey
Meanwhile, some rifle owners in New York City and Connecticut received letters ordering them to dispose of their weapons after similar bans were passed in those jurisdictions, Off the Grid News reported. Those bans are being challenged in court.
The New Jersey bill would have to be passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Christie (a Republican) to go into effect. Christie’s position isn’t known.
New Jersey gun owners already were upset after a New Jersey legislator off-microphone was heard saying last May, “We needed a bill that was going to confiscate, confiscate, confiscate.” The PolitickerNJ.com blog reported it likely was either state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Sen. Sandy Cunningham or Sen. Linda Greenstein.