Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Ban on Semi-Autos?

In February, U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy introduced a bill (H.R. 1022) that would reinstate the, now expired, Clinton-era ban on certain semi-automatic firearms (referred to by gun-prohibitionists as "assault weapons," a deliberately nebulous term). With the recent shootings at Virginia Tech we can expect a full court press to pass this new legislation. H.R. 1022 actually goes further than the original 1994 ban, casting even more weapons into the role of despicable "assault weapons."

(As you might remember, Carolyn McCarthy ran for Congress with her sole qualification being that her spouse was famously shot by some scumbag. If that's all it takes, we need to start working to get Randy Weaver on the ballot in '08.)

Some of the more common rifles affected by McCarthy's gun-grab include the AR-15 and AK-47 families, any SKS with detachable mags, FN/FAL's, and HK-91 derivatives. Weapons that weren't affected by the original ban but that now find themselves on the naughty list include the affordable Hi-Point Carbine, the ubiquitous Ruger Mini-14 and the venerable M1 Carbine. (By the way, if "assault weapon" is a clear-cut, unambiguous term, why wasn't the M1 Carbine an "assault weapon" before? It's basic design hasn't changed since 1941, so what has changed in the past 13 years, besides the definition of "assault weapon?")

Other rifles specifically banned by name include: AR-10, AR-70, Calico Liberty, Dragunov SVD and SVU, FN/LAR or FNC, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle, Saiga, SAR8, SAR-4800, SLG 95, SLR 95 or 96, Steyr AUG, Tavor, Thompson1927 (and its derivitives), Uzi and Galil. Pistols banned by H.R. 1022 include the MAC-10 (and derivitives), Olympic Arms OA, Tec-9 (and its clones) and the Uzi pistol. Shotguns affected would include: Armscor 30 BG, SPAS 12 or LAW 12, Striker 12 and the much maligned Streetsweeper.

In case McCarthy forgot any weapons, H.R. 1022 imposes a blanket ban on any "semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine" and has any ONE of the following features (the old ban required TWO): a folding or telescoping stock, a threaded barrel, a pistol grip, a forward grip, or a barrel shroud. Also, H.R. 1022 would ban most semi-autos with FIXED magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and allow future attorneys general to ban weapons that he or she felt wasn't "particularly suitable for sporting purposes."

Besides banning hordes of guns, H.R. 1022 would require that all transfers or sales of "assault weapons" between law-abiding gun owners must go through a federally licensed gun dealer. That means two things: fees to do it (since gun dealers must cover their costs) and paper trails. (Transfers and sales between criminals, as always, will remain unaffected by the new law.) It would also permanently ban the importation of ammunition magazines.

Lastly, in the "Carolyn McCarthy Is Batshit Crazy" category, the bill has a provision that would require a minor child to have a written permission slip from their parent if they are engaged in target practice with ANY SEMI-AUTO (even one not covered by the ban itself). That's right, even if you were standing right beside your child, offering instruction while he or she shoots, you would both be federal criminals if your child didn't have a note from you in his or her pocket at the time. If that isn't arbitrary harassment of law-abiding gun owners, I don't know what is. And exactly what part of the Constitution authorizes that?

Gun Owners of America has more information and a pre-written email that you can send your congress-critter at Let's not let this arbitrary, onerous nightmare become a reality (again).

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