During a tearful press conference at the State House involving families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, New Jersey Sen. Pres. Steve Sweeney changed his position on a bill pertaining to ammunition magazines for firearms.

(Credit: Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ)
Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, speaks during a State House press conference regarding a bill that would limit the legal capacity of ammunition magazines in NJ to 10.

Last year, Sweeney (D-West Deptford) did not support a bill to limit the legal capacity of ammunition magazines in New Jersey to 10 rounds rather than the current 15 rounds. Sweeney has had a change of heart and, through tears, he explained why at a State House press conference where he was joined by parents of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.

"When you meet families that lost their loved ones it's pretty hard to explain why you can't do a simple thing like this," Sweeney said as he dabbed tears from his eyes. "I'm proud to be standing here today supporting this."

Twenty school children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook. The shooter used 30-round ammunition clips and unleashed 154 bullets in about four minutes.

"Five of those bullets hit my son and in an instant my precious boy was gone," said Nicole Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son Dylan. "In the time it took the shooter to reload in one of the classrooms, in Dylan's classroom, 11 children had the opportunity to escape."

What would have been different if the shooter's magazines held 10 rounds instead of 30 forcing him to reload more often? That's a question that has certainly occurred to Nicole Hockley.

"How many more children might be alive today from both classrooms," Hockley asked. "Perhaps my son would still be alive. What happened in Newtown can happen anywhere. Any quiet town, any busy city, no community is immune."

Democratic leaders in the legislature and anti-gun violence advocates are joining Nicole Hockley and the families of other Newtown victims in urging Gov. Chris Christie to sign the bill into law when it gets to his desk.

In a statement from Gov. Christie's office Monday, the administration said the governor will consider the law if it reaches his desk.

“New Jersey already has the third-toughest gun laws in the entire country, and is one of only seven states that has an existing law on the books limiting the size of ammunition magazines," the Christie administration said. "If and when this legislation reaches his desk, Gov. Christie will review it and make a decision in due course.”

Forty-three states do not have any capacity laws at all.

Prieto & Greenwald Stand With Newtown Parents, Gun Safety Advocates in Push to Reduce Ammo Clip Max Capacity in NJ (A-2006) from NJ Assembly Democratic Office on Vimeo.