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1994 assault weapons ban expires on MONDAY


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Gun makers gear up as assault weapons ban is set to expire

 

BY SHANNON MCCAFFREY

 

Knight Ridder Newspapers

 

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - As the clock counts down on the decade-old ban on selling and buying assault weapons, phones have begun ringing off the hook at ArmaLite. Customers want to know when the newly outfitted AR-15 rifle will be ready.

 

"People are excited. They've been waiting for this for a long time, and we've been preparing," said Jodi DePorter, a spokeswoman for the Geneseo, Ill.-based gun maker.

 

Unless Republican congressional leaders have a sudden change of heart, the assault weapons ban - a centerpiece of the 1994 Crime Bill - will expire at midnight on Monday.

 

The federal law applied to 19 semiautomatic weapons, which fire one round and automatically load each time the trigger is pulled. Automatic weapons, which remain illegal, are designed for military use and shoot without stopping.

 

ArmaLite plans to ship newly outfitted assault rifles just hours later to customers who were so eager to get the .308 and .223 caliber semiautomatic rifles that they've pre-ordered them.

 

Gun manufacturers are gearing up for a wave of business once the ban sunsets. They're offering promotional coupons online for extras such as free flash suppressers and boxes of high-capacity 15-round magazines.

 

Joseph Vince, the former chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Crime Gun Analysis Branch, predicted that the end of the ban "will cause a frenzied buying spurt."

 

"People will buy them in high quantities just because they will fear that this ban may go into effect yet again," Vince said.

 

A Consumer Federation of America report says prices for the assault weapons would drop as the supply surges. While there've been knockoffs of popular banned semiautomatic weapons such as AK-47s, Uzis and TEC-9s, some gun buyers want the real thing.

 

The consumer group predicted a wave of "gun buyer nostalgia" for new models of the originals. And high-capacity magazines will begin rolling off the production lines again, dramatically increasing the firepower on the streets, the report found.

 

Law enforcement - which credits the ban with helping drive down the crime rate to record-low levels in the last decade - says they'll once again be outgunned by criminals.

 

Several dozen police chiefs from around the country converged on Washington recently to lobby members of Congress to reauthorize the ban. They also sought a meeting with President Bush, who's said he would sign a bill if it landed on his desk, but were rebuffed, said Joe Polisar, the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

 

Police and other supporters of the ban accused Bush of not doing anything to temper Republican opposition to the ban in the House of Representatives.

 

"We cannot afford a repeat of the carnage on our streets in the '70s and '80s," Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton said. "We need sanity in our gun laws."

 

To purchase an assault weapon, customers must undergo a criminal background check. If they pass, they can walk out with a gun. Seven states - California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York - have their own assault-weapon bans that will remain in place.

 

The biggest opponent of the ban's renewal is the powerful National Rifle Association, which maintains that the ban was nothing more than a cosmetic fix and that there's no evidence proving it worked.

 

Dueling studies on the ban's effectiveness have given both sides evidence to cherry pick and make their case.

 

Supporters of the ban - such as the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence - cite ATF "crime gun" data, which show that the number of outlawed weapons as a percentage of all guns the ATF has traced to crimes has fallen - from 4.82 percent before the ban to 1.61 percent after it was imposed.

 

The NRA counters with a study by the Urban Institute, which found that assault weapons and high-capacity magazines "were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders."

 

A federally funded follow-up study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania said that while the use of assault weapons in crimes has declined since the ban, the use of large-capacity magazines has been on the rise.

 

"Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," said the study.

 

Even many of its most ardent supporters concede that the assault weapons ban is far from an outright prohibition.

 

The legislation was riddled with loopholes that allowed manufacturers to rename their weapons and make minor modifications on copycat models that could then be sold legally. Weapons already out there were allowed to remain in circulation. So were magazines over the 10-round limit that the ban imposed. Just before the ban took effect, manufacturers increased production to ensure they had legal stocks in reserve. But prices on the pre-ban items have risen, putting them out of reach for some people.

 

For supporters, making the guns even a bit to harder to obtain is worth it.

 

"Why in the world would you want to return these offensive weapons to our streets and neighborhoods?" asked Tom Mauser, who lost his son Daniel in the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.

 

Gun makers, who've watched their business shift with the political tides, say they realize the ban may return.

 

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Friday he'd push to renew the ban if elected and linked assault weapons sales to terrorism.

 

So DePorter said ArmaLite would be watching the presidential election closely.

 

"We'll have to see how long this lasts," she said.

 

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ics/9632590.htm

 

I wish I was 21....

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Yay! I'm sure the Founding Fathers are pleased to know we can fire a couple hundred rounds per minute at the police. I guess we should prepare for more shootouts like the 1994 North LA bank heist...

 

:thumbup

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No way in hell should this be repealed.

551427[/snapback]

 

It's not being repealed, it's expiring. Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with honest law abiding citizens owning firearms and time and time again it has been proven that gun control laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. You can go to pretty much any gun show in this country and walk out of there with an AK47 without even having to show your ID, if a criminal wants a firearm they'll get a firearm and no ban will be able to stop or even prevent it.

 

*waits for furman to back me up* :lol

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First off they are letting it expire. What reasons do we have to make these things legal now? Second off, show me evidence where assault rifles make society safer and not just firearms. Third its another example Bush the politician. He promised the Brady group that he would sign the Bill. Of course he let guys like Frist do the dirty work and made no effort to let it come through.

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Ahhh yes, shotgun and assault rifle are the same thing. Silly me.

551588[/snapback]

He is hunting under a supervised area. There is a good deal different than legally allowing assault rifles into the average Joe's hands.

551620[/snapback]

 

I was mocking Chewbacca, not you.

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Ahhh yes, shotgun and assault rifle are the same thing. Silly me.

551588[/snapback]

He is hunting under a supervised area. There is a good deal different than legally allowing assault rifles into the average Joe's hands.

551620[/snapback]

 

I was mocking Chewbacca, not you.

551653[/snapback]

Ok. I didn't know who that was directed at. But I made my point loud and clear.

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I'm just pointing out that Kerry likes is guns, and killing ducks who were no way involved connected with 9/11.? :plain

551698[/snapback]

 

At least he didn't kill him for the oil...

 

:p

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I'm sure some people would have problems with both weapons actually.

 

It's just difficult to find a line to draw regarding what's going to be legal and what's not.

 

I'm not going to get into this one, although I think the line should be drawn somewhere between a super soaker and an RPG rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

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Guest Moneyball

I'm just pointing out that Kerry likes is guns, and killing ducks who were no way involved connected with 9/11.?? :plain

551698[/snapback]

 

At least he didn't kill him for the oil...

 

:p

551702[/snapback]

MY guess is that Kerry waited for the duck to attack him before he attacked the duck. :plain

551710[/snapback]

 

:lol :lol :lol :notworthy :notworthy :notworthy

 

PWNED

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Dumb, dumb, dumb.

 

The right to keep and bear arms as a plausible defense against a tyrannical government was made obsolete with the invention of the repeating rifle in the late 19th century. And contrary to what gun rights activists will tell you, the following is not true:

 

1) Your semi-auto rifle will not serve as a deterrent if the world's most potent and technologically advanced military decides to turn against its' citizenry.

 

2) One does not need a semi-automatic weapon to hunt anything. Same goes for a handgun.

 

3) Losing your right to carry a hand-cannon or a semi-auto rifle is the not first misstep down the slippery slope towards a dictatorship. Fact is, if the leadership of this country wants and is able to create a dictatorship via the military, you holed up in your basement with four semi-autos and a years' supply of Ramen noodles ain't gonna stop 'em. You think the US public is better armed than that of the Iraqis, or Afghanis? Everyone there owns an AK, alot of good that did them.

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To those who say that because you can still get an assault rifle with a ban. It means their should be no ban because people still get through.

 

Answer me this, If a child molestor or murderer can get away with the crime sometimes. Do you make those crimes legal because you can't stop all of them?

 

Of the responsible gun owners I know. It's like finding the needle in a haystack for one who thinks they need to own one or should own an assault rifle.

 

Their expensive to shoot, you can't use it for hunting, and what do you feel you've accomplished by shooting a barrage of bullets at practice targets?

 

The government's not coming to get you by stopping you from owning a weapon you don't need.

 

Oh and convienence like being able to buy my milk AND AK - 47 in one stop shopping at Walmart.

 

Maybe someday I can have my weed and prostitues add into that cart. :plain

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