For Release: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Washington, DC — The Violence Policy Center (VPC) hailed Senate passage today of a bill to ban 50 caliber sniper rifles in New Jersey.
The VPC has long advocated for restrictions on the sale and possession of 50 caliber sniper rifles and was the first organization in the country to alert the American public to the dangers posed by these weapons with its landmark 2001 study Voting From the Rooftops: How the Gun Industry Armed Osama bin Laden, Other Foreign and Domestic Terrorists, and Common Criminals With 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles. Subsequent VPC studies exposed the ability of these rifles to attack bulk fuel tanks and other high-value targets from a distance, as well as their ability to destroy commercial aircraft. For more information on the threat posed by 50 caliber sniper rifles as detailed in VPC studies, including the use of these military weapons in crime, see this link. In September 2004 California became the first state in the nation to ban the weapons.
“Passage of this legislation sends a strong message to New Jersey residents and citizens across the country that these weapons of war must be banned. Fifty caliber sniper rifles, used by our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world, can penetrate armor plating and are accurate to over a mile, yet they are as easy to buy under federal law as a hunting rifle, and are far less restricted than standard handguns,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand.