- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will face a difficult decision in the coming days over an ammunition restriction bill that’s nearly found its way to his desk — and the pressure from the Second Amendment activists and the gun-control crackdown crowd could very well hang the fate of his White House aspirations.

The legislation seeks to reduce the allowable capacity for ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, down from 15. It’s passed through the Senate and heads to the lower house for a second vote, where support is strong. Mr. Christie could see it within days, NJ.com reported. And pressure is mounting for him to take a side.

“Christie will either veto the magazine restriction bill, or kiss his presidential aspirations goodbye,” a headline of the gun rights website Bearingarms.com read.

But from the other side is pressure from parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. Twice, this group’s taken their lobby mantra for more gun control — and for passage of the ammo limits — directly to the steps of the state Capitol.

They’re likely to make a public appearance during the final Assembly vote, due within days, said Bryan Miller, the executive director of the group, Heeding God’s Call, in NJ.com.

So far, Mr. Christie’s office has refused to take a stand.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment & Gun Control

“If and when a final version of legislation reaches his desk, it will be carefully reviewed in the 45-day period he has prior to taking any action,” one spokesman for Mr. Christie said, in NJ.com.

But any dream he might have for the White House — or any GOP-fueled hope that he’s the party’s 2016 candidate — may hinge on which way he goes on the bill.

“Any candidate that doesn’t do well in these early primaries can kiss their presidential aspirations goodbye and one of the fastest ways to sink a Republican nomination in the current political environment is to be seen as a champion of gun control,” said Bob Owens, the author of the Bearingarms.com piece.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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