After months of pressure from both sides of the gun control debate, Gov. Chris Christie today refused to sign three controversial gun control measures sitting on his desk — including a version of a weapon ban that he had called for.
Christie altered two bills, sending them back to the Legislature — a massive measure (S2723) known as state Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s “centerpiece” to overhaul the way the state issues firearms ID cards, and legislation to require New Jersey law enforcement agencies to report information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases (A3797).
But the governor completely axed a bill that would ban the Barrett .50 caliber rifle(A3659), which is the most powerful weapon commonly available to civilians. Christie had called for a ban on future sales of the weapon in his own package of violent prevention measures outlined in April.
In his veto message delivered this evening, Christie said that his proposal to ban the weapon was more narrowly tailored than the bill the Legislature passed, which would have also required owners to give them up.