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Analysis: Assault Weapons Ban Covers Many Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns

March 11th, 2013
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03.11.2013

AWB

Analysis: Assault Weapons Ban Covers Many Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns

original article written by Net Advisor

WASHINGTON DC. The debate continues over gun control in Washington. Although the subject seems to have ducked from the headlines, gun control proponents drafted various restrictive legislation. It seems that they are just waiting to take control over all the branches of government again to ram laws through unopposed to anyone else’s views or rights.

None of the proposed legislation addresses enforcement of crime, building or expanding prisons, or funding prosecution for violent crime. The arguments that support gun control have serious flaws which are examined here. We compare Justice Department data and state data from where the original AWB occurred in 2004.

Let’s start by taking a look at the leading piece of legislation.

[1] Is the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 Really About “Assault Weapons”
Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) proposed federal legislation called the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” (AWB2013). The AWB2013 title makes it sound as if the government wants to ban “assault rifles.” As we will discover the ban is broader than that.

The legislation starts out to tell us who is actually exempt from the ban, such as the military, law-enforcement and grandfathered weapons in possession prior to the proposed enactment. The AWB2013 legislation even makes bold off-set type that says it will “protect hunting and sporting firearms,” or does it?

As we read into AWB2013, it lists rifles, pistols and shotguns that are being targeting in the ban. Wait? I thought the bill was to ban “assault rifles?” Did anyone really believe that the “Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 was really going to lower the cost of healthcare?

Some of firearms named in the AWB2013 are not “assault weapons” at all. The named arms are used in hunting and for sports, such as legal target shooting and international competitive shooting events. Thus, the proposed bill already contradicts its-self. Is there a big problem in America that we need an “assault weapons ban” to “protect” hunters, target shooters, sportsmen, and professional competitive shooting?

[2] Gun Control Tends to Increase Gun Violence
Case in point. Chicago has the highest murder rate in the USA. It is also home to some 100,000 gang members. Instead of actually going after and attacking crime, putting real criminals who commit the crime in jail, Chicago politicians instead have opted to have amongst the toughest gun laws in the USA. The result of government trying to protect citizens by reducing gun sales to lawful citizens? More people were murdered in Chicago last year than anywhere else in America (see our full report).

The United Kingdom has a total gun ban. As a result, total gun crime has increased by 65% (Point #4, see our full report).

Mexico not only has a total gun ban, they also ban the sale or possession of most non-kitchen knives.  As a result, some 70,000 people have been murdered in Mexico with these bans [Report, Point#11]. Citizens are unable to defend themselves from the criminals.

What the gun control proponents fail to realize is that criminals don’t follow laws. That is why they are called, “criminals.” So who is impacted by gun bans? Answer: Law-biding citizens. So if law-biding citizens are the true target of gun bans, restrictions and the alike, why is government trying to disarm its citizens? We found a report from the U.S. Department of State that may shed some light on this question (Report, Point #22].

[3] Disguised as “Instrument of Good?”
Most legislative polices have the intent to do good, to “protect us” in some way or another. Because as consumers we just can’t make a decision on our own unless government helps us with the choices. And according to the video below, Americans are just not bright enough to understand things unless government does it for us.

President Obama discussed the difference between “professional politicians” and the American “public at large.”

The result of this dialogue made Americans come away with that the Administration thinks we’re just too stupid to understand things, so we need “professional politicians” to manage our lives, because they know what’s best for all of us?

George Mason IV (1725-1792) was known as the “Father of the United States Bill of Rights” and who said “To Disarm the People (is) the Best and Most Effectual Way to Enslave Them…”

We’re not suggesting that the government is trying into “enslave its citizens” per se, but keep in mind, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to defend against tyranny. We may not have tyranny today, but if we allow chipping at the rights of citizens, punch holes in the Constitution, redefining rights, limiting rights and over time what path does that lead to?

The U.S. Constitution has its own built-in enforcement mechanism. If a law needs to be reviewed, it should be held up to Constitutional tests:  Is this legal under what article and why? President George Washington discussed this 217 years ago:

“If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

— President George Washington, farewell address, September 19, 1796 (source)

Nowhere in the Constitution says we must quickly pass a new law, limit rights, or make amendments because a few isolated nuts cases commit mass murder. Deal with the nut cases. Do we need to punish law-biding citizens? Are we now to assume that everyone is a criminal or might commit a crime in the future, so we must ban guns (and 16+ oz sodas) now? Is that how the law is supposed to work now?

2009 Press Conference of Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on gun safety with her finger on the trigger.

2009 Press Conference of Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on gun safety with her finger on the trigger.

[4] Feinstein’s AWB of 2013 Bans More than Just “Assault Rifles”
Next, we need to be clear that “assault weapons” are not sold to the public. Go to any firearms dealer and ask to buy an “assault weapon” and they will give you a dirty look. These weapons are made and sold to certain law enforcement and military only – not civilians.

In an open letter by the U.S. Army Special Forces, describes the differences between an “assault weapon” and an “AR.” The term “AR” actually does not mean “assault rifle”. The term “AR” represents the first two letters in (original) manufacture’s name “ArmaLite Corporation.”

We don’t hear any politician or gun control proponents saying we need an “ArmaLight ban.” How many people do you think would say? What’s ArmaLight anyway? Instead, they come up with things that are not available to the public anyway (“assault weapons”), then identify what weapons they really want to ban.

[5] Feinstein’s “Assault Weapons Ban” Includes Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns
There are 157 named weapons to the potential ban, and the legislation uses words such as “types” meaning the government can include any unnamed current or future made weapon in the ban that has the look, feel or performance of the banned weapons.

Just to insert here, no one ever was killed by something that “looked” or “felt” scary. So government wants to ban cosmetic appearance of firearms too? Perhaps if we put smiley faces on the barrels and paint them pink, then they wouldn’t be so “scary.” The AWB bill if passed bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of the following:

Rifles:
All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74,
AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms
LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM,
IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S,
and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS;

All AR types, including the
following: AR–10, AR–15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15–T,
Barrett REC7, Beretta AR–70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15,
Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles,
DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556,
Olympic Arms, Remington R–15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR–15, Sig Sauer
SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm,
Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4
Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1,
Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR,
22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather
Industries AT–9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine;
HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub–2000,
SU–16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer
SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR–48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14
Tactical Rife M–14/20CF;

All Thompson rifles, including the following:
Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B,
Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson
T1–C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D,
Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine,
UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and
M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms
Linda Carbine.

Pistols:
All AK–47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol,
Draco AK–47 pistol, HCR AK–47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol,
Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK–47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All
AR–15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR–15 pistol,
Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS
AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15
pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP–9 and
MP–45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB–10, TEC–22
Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following
MAC types: MAC–10, MAC–11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol,
MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military
Armament Corp. Ingram M–11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556
pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following:
Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.

Shotguns:
Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types,
including the following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S,
IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga
12K–030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.

Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms:
All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB.

— Source: feinstein.senate.gov (share link only / view local  PDF 4 pps)

[6] Senator Cites “Studies” that are Full of Holes
Senator Feinstein thinks that “assault weapon bans” have been proven effective (PDF). The Bill’s entire premise is based on TWO incidences of mentally ill young people who committed mass shootings in designated gun-free areas.

“Mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. These weapons allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload.”

— Diane Feinstein (D-CA) (share link only / view local  PDF 4 pps)

Notice Feinstein said “military-style,” referring to cosmetic characteristics of the gun. She also referred to “high capacity magazines.” Some states already have limits on magazine capacity. The time it takes to change clips can be just a few seconds.

Bullets can travel around 3,000 feet per second and a distance up to a mile or so depending on the type. Not even the fastest Olympian can run this fast. Don’t see how this move will save anyone.

Senator Feinstein cherry picks a 1997 study (PDF) which we could not download but got a copy of the summary. Feinstein cites the study by saying in 1994-95 that gun murders dropped by 6.7 percent. The Senator then tries to attribute this to her 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” in California. Feinstein ignores the very first line in the study’s own summary which sates:

“At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.”

“…we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.

—  Study: Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety…Firearm use…1994, Roth, Koper (PDF)

The study acknowledged its faults where it only covered one year, and immediate after the gun ban. The 1994 AWB took place ONLY in California. The study could not make a direct conclusive correlation to the AWB of 1994 and lower gun murders in California. Therefore, the study by its own admission is inconclusive. Yet, despite this fact, Feinstein picks out a line from the study and essentially says, ‘see my law worked.’

[7] Did Violent Crime Go Up After Ending the California “Assault Weapons” Ban in 2004?
By 2004 people in California were able to buy and sell civilian versions of the AR-15 that were previously banned. If Senator Feinsten was correct, that banning so called “assault” rifles” from 1994-2004, then the violent crime had to go up after the 2004 ban ended right?

Chart: Property crime in California has been on the decline since 1982 (Blue Line). Violent crime (brown line) has also decreased in California since the 1994 -2004 AWB. However,  violent crime went even lower after the ban ended in 2004, and stayed that way. Source: California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General.

Chart: Property crime in California has been on the decline since 1982 (Blue Line). Violent crime (brown line) has also decreased in California since the 1994 -2004 AWB. However, violent crime went even lower after the ban ended in 2004, and stayed that way. Source: California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General.

[8] Violent Crime Dropped Further After California Ended “Assault Weapons” Ban
As the chart shows above, property crime has been on the decline in California since 1982 (Blue Line). Violent crime also decreased in California since the 1994 -2004 AWB. However, violent crime went even LOWER after the gun ban ended in 2004, and stayed that way through 2011 (latest data).

If we used Feinstein’s analogy in reverse, people were safer when more guns could be purchased by law-biding citizens, especially AR’s.

Just a chart note: Violent crime spiked in California in 1992 which could be attributed to the Los Angeles Riots. [Chart Source: California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General (03-11-2013) PDF].

[9] U.S. Violent Crime Down 15% Since 1993
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, violent gun crime has decreased over 15% since 1993-2010 [Point 14, Report]. Discovery.com news cited in December 2012 that, “since 1900, the highest mass murder rate was in 1929″ – 84 years ago.

[10] More Holes In Feinsten’s Analogy
Senator Feinstein quoted several articles (PDF) where police saw a decrease in seized “assault pistols” and the alike during a fixed period of time. This does not mean that her (California) law was passed and suddenly the criminal are no longer using these weapons, including in other states.

It could mean a lot of things. Enforcement is down; criminals are using other weapons; criminals are dead or in prison.

[11] Banning Weapons Does Not Reduce Crime
The thinking is that passing a law will somehow reduce crime is a complete joke. The only way to reduce crime is to arrest, prosecute and keep the felons in prison for very long periods of time.

Criminals don’t say, ‘oh wow, the government banned a weapon. We better not use that one or we might get in trouble, so let’s use a different gun instead – you know the one that isn’t banned yet.’

Banning legal arms from law-biding citizens only hurts law-biding citizens.

What the Senator from California won’t tell you is that despite new gun control laws, gun sales have soared [Point 18] in the USA for the last 7+ years.

The result of more firearms in lawful hands as a whole shows crime violence is down in the USA [Report, Points 13, 14 and 15]. Thus, one can make an argument that more guns in the hands of law-biding citizens is making America safer because most criminals don’t want to show up at a residence with a knife or small pistol and face an AR-15. God forbid you “assault” someone who has just invaded your residence who may kill you.

[12] Gun Crimes Represent Only 3 to 12% of All Violent Crime: (Bureau of Justice)
The facts are the majority of crimes in the USA are NOT committed with a gun of any sort. From 1993 to 2010 when the offender was a stranger, there was an average 60%+ chance the victim would not be assaulted with any weapon. In the same 17 year period, there was roughly a 11% chance that some kind of firearm was used in the commission of a crime (chart above).

From 1993 to 2010 when the offender knew the victim, there was about a 77% chance the victim would not be assaulted with any weapon. In this same period, there was roughly a 4% chance that some kind of firearm was used in the commission of a crime (chart above).

The data thus shows that the overwhelming majority of violent crimes in the USA are not committed with any weapon. Yes, weapons are used in some crimes, guns too, and people do get killed. But the government’s own data shows crimes involving guns are extremely low in the USA.

[13] Unenforceable Actions: Constitutional Issues
The “Assault Weapons” Ban of 2013 Bill includes “imposing a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms, to keep them away from prohibited persons” (PDF).

Generally it is a good idea to keep firearms away from young children, especially those not well trained in firearm safety. It is also a good idea to keep weapons away if you have criminals living with you. Also keeping weapons away from the mentally ill, including Alzheimer’s patients, or otherwise those who are not in sound mind, have a propensity for violence or have a criminal history.

But how does one enforce such a law against law-biding citizens unless we allow police to randomly go into to a person’s residence and inspect whether their firearm(s) are being stored in compliance with the government’s wishes?

Felons on parole (probation) can’t lawfully own or posses firearms, and their rights are limited where police have greater control of inspection here. However for the rest of us, this brings us another Constitutional challenge.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits illegal searches and seizures. The government can’t just go and get a Court (having jurisdiction) issue blanket search warrants to check and see if a crime is being committed when there is no probable cause.

“The requirement, found in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, that must usually be met before police make an arrest, conduct a search or receive a warrant.  

Courts usually find probable cause when there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed (for arrest) and that evidence of the crime is present in the place to be searched (for search).”

— Source: Cornell University Law School

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court already ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that included the following:

‘The Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense.

It also ruled that two District of Columbia provisions, one that banned handguns and one that required lawful firearms in the home to be disassembled or trigger-locked, violate this right.

— Source: Library of Congress (view local PDF) (view link to case only / view case 157 page PDF)

Based on this U.S. Supreme Court existing case law, it would be unlawful to attempt to regulate firearm safety in the home.

Congress, states, local governments can try and pass a law that violates the Constitution, but the U.S. Supreme Court is REQUIRED under the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution to strike down any law that violates Constitutional law.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution  (link to case laws)

Are these Constitutional supporting Americans? Don’t go by campaign speeches, go by their actions by reading the laws they are proposing. The U.S. Constitution has clear provisions and such have been repeatedly been upheld for 200+ years by the U.S. Supreme Court [Report, Point #6].

These politicians ignore the gangs who commit much of the crimes, and instead focus on a few unfortunate acts of mentally-ill persons who commit heinous crimes called “mass shootings.” Sadly, 24 people were killed in Aurora, CO and 27 in Sandy Hook, CT. But this data still pales to compare to the number of people killed in Chicago every month.

With some 9,000 gun laws on the books across the USA, passing another one will do what exactly? When government starts getting tough on criminals, THEN we will have progress. Fighting crime starts with enforcement, not writing new laws to disarm law-biding citizens.

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