I was just entering high school in 1989, when New Jersey started the great Assault Weapons debate, so I did not know this. Seen on the Internets from someone who would know:
In ’89 New Jersey Could Have Beaten the Assault Firearm Ban if We Agreed to Assault Firearms Permits. We Said “No Compromise.” We Lost. Its Still Law.
Assault Weapons bans are culture killers. People who get into shooting enough will tend to leave states that have passed them. Would New Jersey gun owners have been better off taking that deal? At the very least it would have bought time. Sure, they might have banned them eventually, but at least they would have had to fight twice on the issue instead of winning it all in one fell swoop.
You don’t always have the choice between winning and losing. Sometimes it’s a choice between losing and not losing so much. I’m not saying we’re in that situation now, but screaming “No!” louder is not a strategy. Unless you feel confident we can deliver every GOPe critter’s head on a silver platter in the 2018 primaries, saying “No!” would have meant losing, which leads to more losing.
There is no surprise that even some harder core GOP legislators were geared up and ready to pass a bump stock ban: there is almost no lawmakers out there who are ideologically committed to gun rights. They arrive at their position on this issue solely on the basis of which votes they think they’ll gain or lose come election time. Money is also a factor, and while we do spend money, Bloomberg is waiting with open arms to donate large sums to defectors.
That is why it is very important when you write your lawmakers to make them understand you vote on this issue, and that if they want to keep that vote, they better not just sign up for takeaways.