Chris Christie signed a bill banning the sale or possession of bump stocks, one of the last bills Christie signed into law as New Jersey’s Governor. Christie left office today after serving two terms in New Jersey’s state house.
It was existing law in NJ that bump stocks could not be attached to a weapon, but the new bill now makes even the possession of the accessory illegal. Bump stocks use the force of a rifle’s kickback to allow a shooter to rapidly increase the rate at which the trigger is pulled. Many more rounds of ammunition are allowed to be fired than would otherwise be.
The firearm accessory became the subject of debate last year when it was learned that the assailant in a Las Vegas mass shooting used them to increase the number of rounds he was able to fire. That assailant, Stephen Paddock, fired on an unsuspecting crowd of concertgoers from his hotel room, killing fifty-eight and wounding more than 500 others.
Christie had long opposed tightening New Jersey’s already strict gun laws, but expressed shortly after that shooting, his willingness to further restrict the accessory. The law passed the New Jersey state legislature with eighty-eight votes for and zero votes against.