By Dan Roberts
Trenton, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- On Friday afternoon January 27th, news broke on various social networks that four Northern New Jersey autocratic Assembly members snuck two new sweeping and completely unnecessary anti-gun bills onto the calendar of the Law and Public Safety Committee for Monday January 30th.
Assembly Bill A588 concerns a new ammunition ban, cleverly disguised and marketed for the protection of Law Enforcement, but granting unprecedented powers to an unelected official, in the form of the State Attorney General; to unilaterally ban any ammunition, of any type or construction, including incredibly enough, benign plastic “BB’s “of the type used by Airsoft Toys, if the Attorney General deems them a “threat to the safety or welfare of Law Enforcement “.
When reached for comments over the rationale and reasoning for such an onerous proposal, an aide to one of the sponsors claimed the bill was only concerned with banning a particular type of round, the FN 5.7 caliber SS109AP Armor Piercing one, fired from the FN Pistol, due to its concerns that the round in question can penetrate multiple layers of Kevlar Bullet Resistant Vests most commonly issued to Police Officers. Ignore for the moment the blatant and almost certainly Un Constitutional vesting of near omnipotent regulatory powers in an unelected and unaccountable Official in favor of focusing on the concerns over the ammunition specifically referenced in the Statement and the language of the proposed legislation in general.
The Statement portion of the proposal, which briefly explains the sponsors reasoning, appears on its face to target only the SS109AP 5.7 round.
A round which is already restricted by both NJ State and Federal Law to Law Enforcement and Military personnel.
This is readily apparent from the description of the type of round in question, with the AP initials standing for, quite obviously, its designation as an Armor Piercing round. Essentially this means that the sponsors of this legislation are arguing to make an already prohibited round “more illegal “ then it already is. How this is a logical conclusion on the parts of the various Assemblypersons is anyone’s guess. More troubling is the intentionally over broad language found in the proposal that would potentially make possession of virtually any round of ammunition by a law abiding citizen a criminal offense at the whim of the Attorney General.
There are any number of common and ubiquitous rifle rounds that are used in target competitions, hunting and numerous other completely legal activities that are fully capable of penetrating standard Police Issue body armor. And as more manufacturers continue to develop and market handguns that fire a rifle caliber bullet, the threat becomes obvious. The language of the proposed legislation would most certainly grant the ability to outlaw those rounds by fiat, merely by a finding by the Attorney General that they “pose a threat to the safety and welfare of Law Enforcement Officers”. As AirSoft toys are not considered firearms under NJ law, despite the best efforts of ideological hoplophobes in the Legislature, it’s a mystery why AirSoft “BB’s” are included in the language.
At a future date the AG could conceivably issue an opinion and finding that because an AirSoft pellet might cause a red mark or “shoot someone’s eye out” that they meet the criteria of posing a threat to the safety and welfare of Law Enforcement and must therefore be banned.
Assembly Bill A1013 concerns “defaced firearms “ and is once again written so poorly as to criminalize the ownership use or possession of any firearm whose factory finish has been degraded by use, age or rust, or replaced, changed or enhanced with the application of numerous firearms finishing products such as “bluing “ chemicals or DuraCoat products. Anonymous sources that spoke to the primary sponsor of A1013 on Friday, Assemblyman and Law and Public Safety Committee Chairman Charles Mainor; told this journalist that
Assemblyman Mainor ‘s intent with A1013 was solely to deal with the criminal use of defaced firearms, meaning ones that had their serial numbers obliterated by criminals in order to frustrate any potential law enforcement investigation.
Once again, this is an act that is already a Federal Level Felony, so it remains unclear why a new law making it “more illegal “ is felt necessary.
Word from my sources is that Assemblyman Mainor intends to have the overly broad language stricken from the proposal.
In an effort to be fair in my capacity as an independent journalist, I contacted the offices of each of the sponsors of both A588 and A1013, seeking on the record comments of their reasoning and explaining that I was under a 48 hour deadline. While the various aides or spokespersons were unfailingly polite and promised to get back to me either with a statement from the sponsors or to request the sponsors contact me directly to get their opinions from the horse’s mouth as it were, not one of them actually did.
I will also be following up with the NJ State Police Public Information Officer as soon as possible to get their position on these matters, specifically A588 and whether or not there is even a concern among Law Enforcement over the already banned SS109AP round, or if this is as a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist. My own belief, one shared by anyone familiar with the 30 year history of draconian firearms laws is that A588 is a thinly veiled effort to perform an end run around Second Amendment rights in NJ, effectively neutering them beyond all recognition. It has long been argued by various Pro Gun Control groups, their enablers in the Legislature and their sycophants in the media that; if they cant accomplish an outright gun ban, they would pursue the next best course, efforts to ban ammunition, which if successful would render law abiding citizens firearms as useful and effective as a paperweight.
So why are certain Legislator’s pursuing this course?
Simple, they are ideological purists, smug in their sense that they know better than everyone else, and will do whatever they can, and we the Citizens allow, to force their views on others via the force of law. It’s far easier for them to blame an inanimate object and its accessories, to slander and demonize a politically incorrect segment of society and to cater to voters who get their knowledge of firearms from Hollywood. It’s about power and control, about crass political expediency and nothing more. Legislators like the sponsors of A588 count on people’s ignorance and apathy, they use deceit and misrepresentation, aided and abetted by a complicit media to ram through policies they know won’t have any meaningful effect on criminals, in favor of punishing innocent people and running roughshod over the Second Amendment.
For twenty plus years we have witnessed, ever more onerous Feel Good Anti-Gun Legislation in NJ, so that politicians can claim to be “doing something “ about violent crime, forgetting or more likely not caring the least about the fact that criminals by their very definition are predisposed to not follow the law to begin with. These policies don’t work, haven’t worked and in fact can’t work. What will pay noticeable dividends in reducing violent crime is cracking down hard on criminals that commit violent acts while possessing a firearm, including stiff, minimum mandatory sentences that will not be plea bargained away so a Prosecutor can notch another guilty plea in his or her file.
In the interim, I urge anyone reading this to contact the sponsors of both A588 and A1013, plus the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee and politely but vociferously voice your steadfast opposition to these proposals and your commitment to do everything possible to ensure their defeat in addition to any future similar legislation and those in office that come up with it, while ignoring going after criminal misuse of firearms. Even better, if at all possible given the short notice; make every effort to journey to Trenton tomorrow, Monday January 30th and voice your opposition and resolve in person during the public comment portion of the Law and Public Safety Committee hearing to be held at 2 pm.
More information for anyone planning or able to attend tomorrow’s Committee Hearing can be found by joining the Facebook Page of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society which is spearheading, in conjunction with the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, opposition to these proposals. http://tiny.cc/NJ2AS
These are the four sponsors of A588 (Ammunition Ban Bill)
- Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer 29th Legislative District
Newark NJ Office Number (973) 624-1730
- Assemblyman Albert Coutinho 29th Legislative District
Newark NJ Office Number (973) 589-0713
- Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan Jr 18th Legislative District
South Plainfield NJ Office Number (908) 757-1677
- Assemblywoman Annette Quijano 20th Legislative District
Union NJ Office Number (908) 624-0880
These are the members of the Law and Public Safety Committee
Law and Public Safety Committee
- Mainor, Charles – Chair 31st Legislative District Office Number (201) 536-7851
- Wilson, Gilbert L. – Vice-Chair 5th Legislative District Office Number (856) 547-4800 (Audubon)
- Albano, Nelson T. 1st Legislative District Office Number (856) 696-7109 (Vineland)
- Benson, Daniel R. 14th Legislative District Office Number (609) 631-0198
- Connors, Sean 33rd Legislative District no number listed
- Cryan, Joseph 20th Legislative District Office Number (908) 624-0880
- Kean, Sean T. 30th Legislative District Office Number (732) 974-0400
- McGuckin, Gregory P. 10th Legislative District Office Number (732) 974-0400
- Peterson, Erik 23rd Legislative District Office Number (908) 238-0251
- Rible, David P. 30th Legislative District Office Number (732) 974-1719
- Watson Coleman, Bonnie 15th Legislative District Office Number (609) 292-0500
More articles and information by Dan Roberts available at That Every Man Be Armed.com