The parents of four victims of the tragic Newtown school massacre are in the Garden State today to urge the State Senate to pass a bill that would mandate a 10-bullet limitation on the capacity of semiautomatic ammunition magazines.

Newtown,Connecticut parents at the Statehouse (Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ)

The full Assembly has already passed such a measure, but the gun control package being considered in a committee today does not include that bill.

Two parents spoke at a packed press conference at the State House this morning. Their message was emotional, but strong.




“I’m Anna’s mother,” says Nelba Marquez-Greene. “Anna was murdered December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School and I’m also Isaiah’s mother. He overheard the execution of his sister and 19 of her friends. As difficult as it is for me to be here I owe it to my sweet caramel princess Anna to make sure that I do everything that I can to speak up and help end gun violence.”

All of the family members present today spoke of the importance of limiting a magazine capacity. They say lives will be saved if a shooter is forced to stop and reload.

“We learned the way no other parent should learn that the most dangerous part of an assault weapon is the magazine,” says Nicole Hockley who lost her son Dylan.

Legislators Respond

Ian Hockley and Nicole Hockley, parents of Sandy Hook massacre victim Dylan Hockley (6), embrace during a press conference with fellow parents of victims on the one month anniversary of the Newtown elementary school shooting (John Moore/Getty Images)

Assembly Democratic Leader Lou Greenwald sponsors the bill limiting the magazine capacity that has been approved in the Assembly.

"The families of Newtown have suffered horrific and heart-breaking loss,” says Greenwald. “Only a few months ago, 20 beautiful six- and seven-year-old children were senselessly taken from their families, along with six courageous educators who sacrificed themselves to protect their students. In their advocacy to prevent the kind of senseless gun violence that ripped their lives apart, these families have shown incredible courage. They have called on us to strengthen New Jersey's gun laws in order to ensure that other families do not have to face the same unimaginable loss.”

Democratic State Senators Loretta Weinberg (Majority Leader) and Nia Gill co-sponsor a capacity limit bill in the Upper House. Both say they will work tirelessly to get it passed, but it is still not included in the Senate’s overall gun control and violence prevention package. Greenwald and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver say they will not advance any package of bills that doesn’t include the clip limit. Gill is urging them not to hold up progress for one piece of legislation.

The man who will ultimately decide if the capacity limit bill is voted on in the Upper House is State Senate President Steve Sweeney. He’s not prepared to include the measure at this point.


“20 years ago New Jersey implemented a limit on the size of ammunition clips,” says Sweeney. “For two decades that limit has been effective. What we must focus on now is preventing guns from getting into the hands of those who should not have them. That means addressing issues of mental health, background checks, illegal guns, and straw purchases.”