New Jersey Law Would Ban Many Common Hunting Rifles

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 [15] 10 rounds . . .

The bracket and underline show the existing and proposed laws. There are no exemptions for grandfathering. Anyone who possesses such rifles after the ban goes into effect will be guilty of a felony. This has already happened at least once, when the owner of a .22 Marlin that he won at a police raffle was convicted for owning the firearm. The model owned was either the one pictured below a very similar Marlin.  It is an “assault weapon” under current New Jersey law, as it has a magazine capacity of 17:

Marlin Model 60 with 17 shot magazine:

After the ban, Marlin modified the design to reduce the magazine capacity to 15 so that the rifles could be sold throughout the nation without having to cater to specific state laws. Now New Jersey is pushing to tighten the restrictions even further, outlawing the current Marlin model 60. It has a 15 round capacity and is arguably one of the most popular .22 rifles in the world.

Marlin Model 60 with 15 shot magazine:

Nearly all .22 rifles that have fixed tubular magazines have a capacity of more than 10 rounds. The Remington 552 holds 15 rounds.

Remington  552, 15-22 shot magazine:

Browning makes a semi-Auto .22 rifle that may slip under the ban that’s on Christie’s desk. Browning says that the magazine capacity on their SA-22 is exactly 10. Because of the variation of .22 ammunition, it’s likely that the rile would hold 11 rounds of some .22 ammunition. Older versions of the rifle advertised a magazine capacity of 11 in .22 LR, and 16 in .22 Short.

Browning Semi-Auto .22 rifle:

.22 rimfire semi-auto rifles with tubular magazines are some of the most popular sporting firearms ever produced.  Over 11 million have been manufactured of the Marlin Model 60 and variants alone. Changing magazine capacity of one of these rifles isn’t simple, because the magazine is fixed, not easily removable.  The New Jersey ban would make all of them in the state instant contraband. Here is a list of common sporting rifles that would be banned by the law:

Browning  Semi-Auto .22
Colt Colteer and variants
Franchi Centennial .22
Marlin model 60 and variants
Norinco ATD .22 (Browning Clone)
Remington 6A and variants
Remington Nylon 66, clones, and variants
Remington 552
Remington 550
Remington 241
Savage model 87A and variants
Winchester model 74
Winchester 190, 290 and variants

This isn’t an exhaustive list. It is hard to think of rifles that were more obviously designed for “sporting purposes”.  To my knowledge, they are one of the few firearms that was not originally intended as a potential military design. It seems that New Jersey legislators have not heard that “No one wants to ban your hunting rifle.”

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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