SENATE RESOLUTION No. 96

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 28, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NICHOLAS P. SCUTARI

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Urges President and Congress to reauthorize assault weapons ban.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Senate Resolution urging the President and the Congress of the United States to reauthorize the assault weapons ban.

 

Whereas, The per-capita gun related death rate in the United States is 19.5 times higher than other comparable wealthy nations, with many major American cities having more gun homicides each year than entire industrialized nations; and

Whereas, In an effort to curb some of the gun-related violence, Congress enacted the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,” which contained a provision to ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons; and

Whereas, This law halted the importation of assault weapons that were not already banned and required domestic gun manufacturers to stop producing semi-automatic assault weapons that incorporated military features intended for combat, not designed for sport use, and ammunition clips that held more than 10 rounds, except for military or police use; and

Whereas, Semi-automatic assault weapons have become the "weapon of choice" for drug traffickers, weapons traffickers, gangs, and paramilitary extremist groups, and led to the deaths of one in five police officers killed in the line of duty between 1998 and 2001; and

Whereas, Despite the fact that assault weapons can cause devastating wounds, release more shots per second, and penetrate body armor, Congress allowed the ban to expire on September 13, 2004; and

Whereas, The legal market for semi-automatic weapons has increased by 27 percent between 2007 and 2011, with these military-style weapons increasingly owned by everyday citizens; and

Whereas, America has mourned at least 31 school shootings since 1999 and more than 70 mass shootings since January 2011, with many of the semi-automatic weapons used in those mass shootings being possessed legally; and

Whereas, Assault weapons have been used in some of the nation's most shocking crimes, including the 1984 Cleveland Elementary School shooting in Stockton, California; the 1999 Columbine High School shooting; the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, the deadliest school shooting in United States’ history; the 2009 Fort Hood shooting; the 2011 Safeway Market shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in which Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was injured; the July 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado; and the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut; and   

Whereas, Several bills pending in Congress would have the affect of reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, including a proposal to ban high-capacity magazines, to close loopholes that allow purchasers to purchase guns at gun shows without background checks, to prohibit people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns, and to prevent ammunition from being purchased online; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Senate of the State of New Jersey urges the President and the Congress of the United States to reauthorize the assault weapons ban. 

 

     2.    Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and attested by the Senate Secretary, shall be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the United States Senate, and each member of the United States Congress elected from this State.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution urges the President and the Congress of the United States to reauthorize the assault weapons ban. The gun-related death rate in the United States is 19.5 times higher than other industrialized nations. In an effort to curb some of the gun-related violence, Congress enacted the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.” The law banned the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons. The assault weapons covered under the ban are designed with military features intended for combat, and had become the "weapon of choice" for drug traffickers, weapons traffickers, gangs, and paramilitary extremist groups prior to the ban. Between 1998 and 2001, similar assault weapons led to the deaths of one in five police officers. In spite of the carnage unleashed by individuals with these weapons, Congress allowed the assault weapons ban to expire on September 13, 2004. With the market for assault weapons increasing and being used in some of the nation's most shocking crimes, including mass shootings at elementary schools, high schools, colleges, work places, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, and places of worship, the President and Congress are urged to reauthorize the ban on assault weapons and other appropriate restrictions.