New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ended his last day in office on Tuesday by signing a new law banning bump-fire stocks and ordering their confiscation under threat of heavy fines and imprisonment.
The former Republican presidential contender offered no words of explanation for ordering the ban of a common firearm attachment, the Free Beacon reports.
The bump-fire stock is an accessory that allows a firearms enthusiast to use a rapid fire technique. The legislation cites the Las Vegas mass shooting as the primary reason for the ban. The document states, “On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor venue in Las Vegas, Nevada killing 59 people and injuring at least 530 people in the deadliest mass shooting in the United States’ modern history. According to recent news reports, the rifles found in the gunman’s hotel room were modified with a bump stock.”
Gun owners were given 90 days to surrender their bump-fire stocks while licensed firearm manufacturers and retailers were only given 30 days to turn over their inventory to law enforcement. The law threatens the state’s citizens with a fine of up to $15,000 or up to 3 years in prison for refusing to cooperate.
Gun control advocates celebrated the decision. The Michael Bloomberg funded group, Moms Demand Action, said in a statement, “We are so grateful that our lawmakers have prioritized public safety by passing this piece of common-sense legislation. Senate Bill 3477 is an important step toward keeping accessories like bump stocks out of the hands of dangerous individuals who seek to carry out large, senseless acts of gun violence.”
Gun rights activists took to Twitter to express their distaste for the new law.
Chris Christie began his career as a popular, tough-talking New Jersey governor who was widely considered to be a GOP presidential contender, but has since become one of the state’s least popular leaders, with both Democrats and Republicans turning on him in increasing numbers.