Republican Governor Chris Christie rejected a gun-control measure passed by the New Jersey legislature, sending it back to lawmakers and saying it was so broadly written it would ban target rifles and other weapons not used in crimes.
Citing earlier versions of the bill, Christie said it had been written to bar one specific type of long-range rifle, the Barrett .50 caliber. Instead, he said the measure he received was so sweeping it would criminalize ownership of all .50 caliber weapons and ammunition, including the $10,000, 35-pound (16-kilogram) guns used by sport shooters.
“The wide scope of this total ban, therefore, will not further public safety, but only interfere with lawful recreational pastimes,” the governor said in his veto message. The former federal prosecutor said it would turn law-abiding sportsmen and women into criminals.
He called on lawmakers to make “commonsense improvements” in state laws to deter criminals.