February 26, 2014
Gun Control: New Jersey Going Forward With High-Capacity Magazine Ban

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney has changed his mind about the state's high-capacity magazine ban. Last year State Senator Sweeney was a vocal proponent of the gun control law which angered Second Amendment supporters. Now, the lawmaker has reconsidered enacting additional and more stringent limits on magazines gun owners can possess.

Beginning last Spring the New Jersey Senate was moving quickly to pass new gun control laws and limited the capacity of magazines to 15 rounds. The initial plan also included future legislation to further decrease the amount of rounds a firearm could hold to 10 in New Jersey. Senator Sweeney previously decided that 15 round capacity magazines had been "effective" in thwarting gun violence and would no longer push for a stricter high-capacity magazine in the state – but now he has now changed his mind.

Revived gun control and high-capacity magazine ban arguments appeared to have swayed Senator Sweeney. During a press conference earlier this week the lawmaker stated that he would not seek a 10 round magazine ban in New Jersey.

Parents of two children who were murdered during the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown shared the stage with Senator Sweeney at the press conference.

Sweeney had this to say about the new gun control plan for New Jersey:

"I'm very much pro-sportsmen. But when you look in the eyes of the parents that I did … I'm a father. There's no excuse, there's no reason. You have to look deep inside yourself as elected officials. Will this make it better? Yes. I'm a human being too and when you talk to families of victims, it's pretty hard when you weigh it out – inconvenience to a life? It wasn't that hard."
Second Amendments advocates raised some very responsible with undisputable facts to counteract Senator Sweeney's argument that such a gun control law would actually work and stop future carnage. Criminals, by the very definition of the term, ignore and break laws. The mere fact that a state passes a high-capacity magazine ban will not thwart a person intent on doing harm. It is entirely illogical to assume that a shooter willing to ignore a big law and commit mass murder, is going to be deterred by another law which carries far more lenient penalties, and not use any capacity magazine they want. Senator Sweeney did not address the very real possibility that any resident still desiring a high-capacity magazine could still leave the state or hop online and buy one. Sure, that would be illegal, but so is taking a gun inside a school or shooting mall and opening fire.

High-capacity magazines subject to the ban are already owned by thousands of New Jersey residents. Despite what one California lawmaker said during a now highly-mocked press conference last year, magazines are not one time use items that will magically disappear from American once rounds pass through them a single time. As the viral video created by a county sheriff clearly shows, even a novice shooter with a five round magazine could empty and reload three times in less than 30 seconds, without a nearby individual gaining the opportunity to tackle the gunman during the magazine switching process.

What do you think about the New Jersey high-capacity magazine ban and gun control laws?