New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday vetoed legislation that would have banned .50-caliber rifles from the Garden State, despite supporting the same proposal a few months ago.
“With the stroke of his veto pen, Chris Christie has put New Jersey communities at risk of serious gun violence,” Democratic Assemblyman Louis Greenwald wrote in a statement, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Christie has also come under fire for saving his action on the bills until Friday night, when the media typically isn’t paying attention, Newsers reported.
A move that erases any doubt that Christie was planning a presidential run for 2016, according to Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher, who suggested the decision was “to let the NRA know he’s got their back.”
In April, Christie recommended banning the sale of .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifles to help curb gun violence, the Washington Post reported. However, he vetoed the bill, as the Post noted, because he said it went too far, requiring residents who already own the rifle to give theirs up.
Christie wrote that the bill “will not further our collective fight against crime, but serve only to confuse law-abiding gun owners with the threat of imprisonment for lawful recreation. I cannot approve of that result.”
“Lawful recreation,” Christopher responded. “So being able to shoot down an airplane is now equivalent to joining a softball team.”
On August 8, Christie — who is up for reelection in November — signed into law 10 bills that were backed by gun control advocates. Measures that were introduced after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that tighten restrictions on guns in New Jersey.
One bill he rejected outright, according to a report by the Associated Press, would have barred New Jersey from investing in companies with firearms or ammunition businesses.