From the looks of things, it appears Gov. Chris Christie has no idea whether he’s going to sign or veto the controversial magazine bill that is likely headed to his desk in the coming weeks.
“I can’t tell you what I’m going to do with the bill until that bill hits my desk,” said the Republican governor on his monthly radio show on 101.5-FM.
“I am not going to prejudge anything that they may change into something that may be something I might consider differently than what my initial inclination might be,” he explained.
A2006/S993, the bill in question, would reduce the state’s current 15-round magazine limit down to 10-rounds.
Unlike many state laws, such as the SAFE Act in New York that regulate only detachable magazines, New Jersey’s would also limit fixed magazines as well. The only exception would be for .22 rimfire rifles with fixed tubular magazines, such as the Marlin Model 60.
A response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the bill cleared the state Senate by a 21-17 vote on Monday and passed through the state Assembly by a vote of 46-31 back in March.
Since there were a few tweaks to the bill in the Senate, the bill now heads back to the Assembly for a final vote. Assuming it will pass in the Assembly once again — N.J.com reported that it’s expected the Assembly approve it next Thursday — it will then head to the governor’s desk where he will have 45 days to sign or veto the bill.
Christie explained that he did not want to render judgment on the bill because “it continues to be a moving target,” meaning the Assembly can still amend the bill.
“Who knows what changes the Assembly is going to make?” said Christie. “They can’t make the decision on what they want this to be.”
“It’s kind of like reading a good mystery book,” the governor continued. “You want the end to get there quickly, but the end only gets there at the end.”
Many believe Christie’s reluctance to disclose his intentions on A2006/S993 is connected to his possible bid for presidency in 2016. It stands to reason that many gun-owning voters would be very unforgiving if Christie were to approve a bill that puts an arbitrary limit on magazine size — something the governor is undoubtedly aware of.
Back in August, Christie vetoed three pro-gun control bills including one that would have banned .50-caliber rifles, another that would have overhauled the state’s process for issuing firearms ID cards and, lastly, one that would have required state police to issue reports on lost, stolen and discarded firearms using trace data provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Will he do the same this time around?
Guns.com writer Chris Eger contributed to this article