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Weinberg, Gill Bill to Limit Size of Firearm Magazines Approved by the Senate

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Nia Gill that would ban firearm magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition was approved by the Senate today.

“In the time it takes a shooter to reload, lives can be saved. Whether it’s six lives or just one life – that is one less family grieving, one more person who’s future wasn’t snuffed out in a split-second of violence,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “There is a difference between a gun owner looking to protect themselves and their family or a sportsman, and someone intent on killing as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

“We have to curb gun violence in our society,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “A very important step in making our communities safer is to limit the size of firearm magazines and there is no compelling need for a civilian to have a 15-round magazine. This bill will save lives.”

The bill, S-102, in addition to banning firearm magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, within 180 days of its passage, would require the owner of any semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds to:

  • transfer ownership of the firearm to an individual who can legally own the gun or,
  • render the rifle or magazine inoperable, or permanently modify the magazine to accept 10 rounds or less or,
  •  voluntarily surrender the firearm to law enforcement.

However, under the bill, a person who legally owns a firearm with a fixed magazine capacity holding up to 15 rounds that cannot be modified to hold 10 rounds or less prior to the bill’s passage can register the firearm to maintain ownership.

The bill would specifically exclude firearms with an attached tubular device and that only use .22 caliber rimfire ammunition. This would allow for the continued sale and possession of the Marlin Model 60, a popular beginner gun, which is low caliber and cannot be quickly reloaded.

The bill would also allow a retired law enforcement officer who is authorized to possess and carry a handgun with a magazine capable of holding up to 15 rounds of ammunition to continue to do so.

The bill was approved by a vote of 23-13, and advances to the governor for further consideration.