New Jersey To Ban .22 Rifles? [Updated]

New Jersey’s legislature has enacted a gun control measure that would ban the most common .22 rifles that have been in use for generations. The Truth About Guns, via InstaPundit, has the story:

The gun ban that has gone to New Jersey Governor Christie for signature has been described as a “gun magazine restriction“, but it bans numerous common sport and hunting rifles. The ban has no exemption for rifles with fixed magazines, including most common .22 rimfire rifles that are used for sport and small game hunting…and almost never used in crimes. Assembly Bill 2006 bans rifles that meet this definition: (4) A semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding … 10 rounds.

The .22 rifle is an American tradition. Millions of American families have bought .22s for their sons and daughters and passed on such rifles from generation to generation. I own a Marlin 60, of which something like 11 million have been sold:


If this bill becomes law, I would be a felon if I lived in New Jersey and kept my Marlin 60. The same goes for most .22 rifles in common use–which, as The Truth About Guns notes, are almost never used in crimes. Knives, blunt instruments and bare hands are used to commit more murders than .22 rifles, by orders of magnitude.

This ban on America’s most common and most inoffensive long gun has gone to Governor Chris Christie for signature. It seems almost inconceivable that any state could ban the .22 rifle in most of its iterations, but that is the age we live in. So this is an easy test for Christie: he should veto the .22 rifle ban. If he does so, it won’t tell us much except that he isn’t a complete fool. If he fails to veto the .22 ban, he will be exposed as a phony conservative who can’t be trusted with even the easiest of decisions.

UPDATE: A reader writes to say that the New Jersey bill has been amended to exempt .22 rifles. The amended version is here. Apparently the pushback against the Dems’ overreach was successful, to that extent. The point remains, however: liberals’ efforts to limit magazine capacity are dumb.

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