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TRENTON – Senator Nia H. Gill and Senator Richard J. Codey today introduced legislation to ban highly-powerful .50 caliber weapons in New Jersey for civilian use, armor-piercing weapons that are used by the armed forces and special police units. The legislation was approved by the New Jersey Legislature in 2013 and previously supported by Governor Christie, who proposed the ban following the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings that killed 20 children and six adults, but was vetoed when it reached his desk.

“Highly-powerful .50 caliber weapons are made for war, and have no place in civilian society. If ever there was a time to have a serious conversation about the gun laws in our state and nation, it is now. Congress must take action on common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that for too long has languished in Washington. However, as we do on so many issues, states should be leading the way. New Jersey should start now by banning .50 caliber weapons that are built and used on the battlefields,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic).

“There is no rational argument that can be made for keeping these firearms on our streets. These long-range weapons have the ability to pierce armor, and to strike mobile targets including aircraft and speeding boats at an extensive distance,” said Senator Codey (D-Morris/Essex). “It made no sense from a policy standpoint for Governor Christie to veto this bill. In the wake of the tragic shooting that took place in Las Vegas, elected officials at all levels have to get serious about addressing gun violence. Ridding our communities of weapons that belong in the hands of trained military personnel is a step that people of all political stripes should be able to get behind.”