Majority Press Office
*** Common Sense Gun Safety ***
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Assembly Members Carol Murphy and Annette Quijano sponsored to ban the possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor cleared the full Assembly on Monday, 75-0-1.
“As technology advances, so does the threat to our police officers who must brave criminals armed with powerful weapons,” Greenwald said (D-Camden/Burlington). “Criminalizing the use of this type of ammunition is common sense. Our officers risk their lives daily. Let’s protect them.”
“Police officers today are dealing with criminals who are disturbingly equipped with new and advanced weapons that make police work that much more dangerous,” said Murphy (D-Burlington). “The risk for our officers is already great. Let’s help minimize the danger by criminalizing this type of ammunition.”
“This isn’t that difficult – no one needs armor piercing ammunition,” said Quijano (D-Union). “We need to protect our law enforcement, but also our communities, with this common sense bill.”
The sponsors noted that armor-piercing bullets were found inside the Las Vegas hotel room where Stephen Paddock launched the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The bill (A-2759) makes it a crime of the fourth degree to possess handgun ammunition that has the capacity to breach or penetrate body armor.
Greenwald and Murphy noted the SS190AP ammunition, for instance, is uniquely designed.
It is a full metal jacketed bullet, but utilizes two metal inserts. The tip has a steel penetrator that is followed by an aluminum core. The weight relationship between the two metals causes the bullet to tumble in soft body tissue, resulting in massive and, in many instances, deadly wounds.
When fired from the Five-seven handgun, the SS190AP bullet can penetrate 48 layers of Kevlar, the protective material used to make many types of body armor.
The bill prohibits individuals – other than law enforcement officers or other statutorily exempted parties such as members of the Armed Forces of the United States and licensed dealers who sell these types of ammunition to the military or law enforcement agencies – from legally possessing ammunition designed and constructed like the SS190AP bullet that can penetrate body armor.
Violators would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000; imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months; or both.
The bill was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on February 1 and the Assembly Appropriations Committee on March 22. The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.