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AWB due to expire on Monday

Gun Control AWB Expires 2004 2nd Amendment

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#1 prolog

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 12:20 PM

I have a hard time believing that this hasn't been brought up recently, but it seems that the (loathed/loved) Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) is set to expire on Monday due to a sunset clause in the original legislation.

Let it expire?  Renew it?

#2 HubcapDave

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 12:20 PM

Let it expire.

#3 Harper's Cat

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 12:23 PM

Yeha, let it expire, isn't deer season coming up? We gotta be prepared :lol:  :hehe:
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#4 Jid

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 12:26 PM

I'd personally hope it's renewed.

I see no reason why anyone outside of law enforcement/military has need (or for that matter, legitimate use) for such a weapon, and I'm of the opinion it's already pretty damn easy to kill each other with firearms already.
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#5 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:21 PM

Jid, on Sep 10 2004, 10:26 AM, said:

I see no reason why anyone outside of law enforcement/military has need (or for that matter, legitimate use) for such a weapon, and I'm of the opinion it's already pretty damn easy to kill each other with firearms already.
Except that 'such a weapon' is so arbitrary in the AWB that it doesn't matter. Somehow, a bayonet mount causing a gun to be illegal strikes me as completely arbitrary. Maybe it's just me.

In any case, let it burn. Over the past few years, we've become less free, not more. It's nice to have a change in the positive direction, for once. Here's hoping Bush and the republicans don't cave to political pressure.
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#6 Kosh

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:25 PM

I'm not a gun control supporter, but I'm up for keeping this ban. There is no use for an automatic weapon other then to kill someone.
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#7 Kevin Street

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:38 PM

Hotspur Rovinski, on Sep 10 2004, 01:21 PM, said:

Jid, on Sep 10 2004, 10:26 AM, said:

I see no reason why anyone outside of law enforcement/military has need (or for that matter, legitimate use) for such a weapon, and I'm of the opinion it's already pretty damn easy to kill each other with firearms already.
Except that 'such a weapon' is so arbitrary in the AWB that it doesn't matter. Somehow, a bayonet mount causing a gun to be illegal strikes me as completely arbitrary. Maybe it's just me.

In any case, let it burn. Over the past few years, we've become less free, not more. It's nice to have a change in the positive direction, for once. Here's hoping Bush and the republicans don't cave to political pressure.
Imo, they should renew the ban for six months or so, and in the meantime write a more comprehensive law that doesn't contain all those loopholes, which could be enacted as soon as the original AWB expires again.

I agree with Kosh, automatic weapons are just killing machines. You can't use them for hunting and you shouldn't try to use one for personal defence (regular rifles and shotguns work just fine for that purpose anyway), so there's really no use for such a weapon in civil society.
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#8 HubcapDave

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:45 PM

Except to overthrow our government, should we so choose. ;)

#9 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:49 PM

Kevin Street, on Sep 10 2004, 01:38 PM, said:

I agree with Kosh, automatic weapons are just killing machines. You can't use them for hunting and you shouldn't try to use one for personal defence (regular rifles and shotguns work just fine for that purpose anyway), so there's really no use for such a weapon in civil society.
I'm no gun expert, but there's two other uses I can think of off the top of my head:

-- Shooting as a sport.
-- Collectors. There are people who simply want to have a gun to have a gun.

The MAIN argument, though, is that as soon as this expires, it means that the anti-second amendment forces are going to have to work to get it back in place... which will, at the very least, delay the criminilization of owning any gun. If we could keep the AWB indefinitely, with the agreement that no other federal gun law would ever be made, I could live with that; as noted, there are ways to get around it. But since the other side is pushing to eliminate them completely, it behooves us to push back just as hard. Most likely, something quite like the AWB will come again. Until that happens, however, the drive to eliminate handguns and shotguns will be significiantly hampered because the focus will be on so-called "assault rifles". I can only call that a victory. :cool:.
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~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#10 Jid

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:52 PM

Hotspur Rovinski, on Sep 10 2004, 02:21 PM, said:

Except that 'such a weapon' is so arbitrary in the AWB that it doesn't matter. Somehow, a bayonet mount causing a gun to be illegal strikes me as completely arbitrary. Maybe it's just me.
Well, first you're somewhat misrepresenting the law, as described by your own link, which defines an assault weapon as a rifle with a detachable magazine and two or more of the following characteristics:
  • A folding or telescoping stock
  • A pistol Grip
  • A bayonet mount
  • A flash suppressor, or the threads to attach one
  • A grenade launcher.
Which means, technically, so long as your rifle only has a detachable clip and a bayonet mount, you're in the clear.

It's a lengthy list though, and well the grenade launcher is something of a no-brainer (does anyone really think it's a good idea for Joe. Q. Public to be able to fire grenades?  I would hope not.)

But two or more of those modifications, and you're treading into the land of making a weapon very good for really one purpose - warfare.  (In Canada, which has far stricter laws regarding concealed carry, collapsable and folding stocks are a restricted  item, period.)

I've personally shot a rifle with a pistol grip - it's nothing I'd want for hunting, or sport shooting.  A telescoping stock, to me, would only be handy if you, your 6'8" brother, and your 4'6" cousin all wanted to use the same gun for gopher hunting.  A flash supressor might be somewhat handy for hunting, but most serious hunters I know would tell you if you have real need of a flash supressor, you need to be spending more time at the range.  

(And as a follow-up question, where today would a bayonet really come in handy?)

Some see it as a question of their freedom to own a weapon of war for proud display.  Which I wouldn't have a problem with, provided it was regulated.  (Your own article points out that a civilian *can* still legally purchase and own a fully functional M16A1, one of the most famous of military guns in use today.)

If anything, this whole "Will the AWB survive?" question smacks of a political grab for the support of the gun lobby.
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#11 Kevin Street

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 04:12 PM

HubcapDave said:

Except to overthrow our government, should we so choose. ;)

But regular civilians armed with automatic rifles going up against the US military? It would be no contest. As we've seen, well armed insurgents can use guerilla warfare techniques to make life difficult for a modern military, but in any straight one-on-one battle situation the professionals are going to win. It's their job, after all. And they've got lots of other weapons systems that can make automatic rifles seem insignificant. There's no tactical advantage in keeping expensive guns around that use so much ammunition, at least not if you're in some kind of modern second revolutionary war scenario, scrounging for resources and trying to keep one step ahead of the pursuing government forces. Imo, that overthrowing the government stuff was meant for the era of muskets and horse cavalry, but it wouldn't work so well today.

Hotspur Rovinski said:

I'm no gun expert, but there's two other uses I can think of off the top of my head:

-- Shooting as a sport.
-- Collectors. There are people who simply want to have a gun to have a gun.

Sure, but do they need to target shoot with automatic weapons? Or to put it another way, is the convenience of a few enthusiasts and collectors more important than the lives of the people who are murdered by automatic weapons every year? Society is full of compromises, and imo this is one that's worth making.

And couldn't collectors collect non-functional versions of the weapons, or would it be too easy to get them working again?

Quote

The MAIN argument, though, is that as soon as this expires, it means that the anti-second amendment forces are going to have to work to get it back in place... which will, at the very least, delay the criminilization of owning any gun. If we could keep the AWB indefinitely, with the agreement that no other federal gun law would ever be made, I could live with that; as noted, there are ways to get around it. But since the other side is pushing to eliminate them completely, it behooves us to push back just as hard. Most likely, something quite like the AWB will come again. Until that happens, however, the drive to eliminate handguns and shotguns will be significiantly hampered because the focus will be on so-called "assault rifles". I can only call that a victory.  :cool:

I don't think that there's any drive to eliminate shotguns and handguns. Getting rid of handguns is a good idea, but it probably wouldn't be possible. They're too popular.

#12 Rhea

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 04:15 PM

Harper's Cat, on Sep 10 2004, 09:23 AM, said:

Yeha, let it expire, isn't deer season coming up? We gotta be prepared :lol:  :hehe:
Of COURSE we do, because we know that everybody's such a terrible shot that they NEED that assault weapon to bag them some deer.  :wacko: :p~

I suspect the Assault Weapon ban is going to come back to the table next year. Diane Feinstein has the tenacity of a put bull.  :cool:

Too bad - that's another of Bush's 2000 campaign promises down the tubes. Without his support there wasn't a chance in hell of getting it renewed (especially since some members of Congress apparently didn't want to have their votes on record in an election year  :devil: ).
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#13 prolog

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 04:29 PM

Kosh, on Sep 10 2004, 08:25 PM, said:

I'm not a gun control supporter, but I'm up for keeping this ban. There is no use for an automatic weapon other then to kill someone.
To be fair, the AWB covers semi-automatic weapons.  Fully-automatic weapons have been regulated like crazy since around 1934.

(I'm basically in favour of the AWB - I just wanted to clarify)

#14 Godeskian

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 04:56 PM

According to the Beeb Kerry has grabbed this as an election issue, accusing Bush of making life easier for criminals and terrorists to aquire assault weapons inside the US.

#15 Shalamar

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:29 PM

CH in all seriousness, if criminals want to get ahold of banned weapons, they are going to - might have to look longer and pay more but no matter what they are going to get ahold of them. Sheer fact of life.
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#16 Corwin

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:32 PM

The AWB had nothing to do with "automatic" rifles or pistols.  Those have been seriously regulated in the US since 1934.

What the AWB did was to raise the prices on legal firearms mostly of a semi-automatic variety regardless of whether it was a military-looking weapon or not.  This was a fairly blatent attempt to restrict or outlaw firearms of a particular style rather than to deter crime.

And it in no way reduced the amount of gun crime.  Law Enforcement statistics show that crimes involving firearms are overwhemingly commited using stolen weapons, not those bought at a store or gun show.

I am a gun owner and have been shooting since I was 10 years old.  I do support the criminal background check for firearms, and feel that the vast majority of the public at large has no need for a Fully Automatic Weapon of any type.  For those people that do have a need, they can go and apply for a Class 3 Federal Firearms Permit.

But calling a Henry repeating rifle (violates magazine capacity and some models had pistol grip and bayonet lugs), an 1884 Mauser (bayonet lug, high ammo cap) or my more modern Dragunov SVD (hollowed out stock with pistol grip and flash supressor) an assault rifle is just plain ludicrous and shows that the legislators writing these laws know very little about firearms and gives the appearance that they don't really want to fight crime, but just look like they are.


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#17 jon3831

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:38 PM

^It *looks* evil, therefore it must be!

My favorite litmus test is thus:

What's the functional difference between a Ruger Mini-14 and a Bushmaster XM15? Which is banned and which is not?

Good riddance to the AWB. A poorly written, useless, "feel good" piece of legislation if there ever was one. If only its sunset did us in the PRK any good...

Edited by jon3831, 13 September 2004 - 07:39 PM.

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#18 LaughingVulcan

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 09:01 PM

Jid, on Sep 10 2004, 01:52 PM, said:

[*]A folding or telescoping stock
[*]A pistol Grip
[*]A bayonet mount
[*]A flash suppressor, or the threads to attach one
[*]A grenade launcher.
[/list] ....
It's a lengthy list though, and well the grenade launcher is something of a no-brainer (does anyone really think it's a good idea for Joe. Q. Public to be able to fire grenades?  I would hope not.)

But two or more of those modifications, and you're treading into the land of making a weapon very good for really one purpose - warfare.  (In Canada, which has far stricter laws regarding concealed carry, collapsable and folding stocks are a restricted  item, period.)

I've personally shot a rifle with a pistol grip - it's nothing I'd want for hunting, or sport shooting.  A telescoping stock, to me, would only be handy if you, your 6'8" brother, and your 4'6" cousin all wanted to use the same gun for gopher hunting.  A flash supressor might be somewhat handy for hunting, but most serious hunters I know would tell you if you have real need of a flash supressor, you need to be spending more time at the range. 

(And as a follow-up question, where today would a bayonet really come in handy?)
A bayonet mount is mostly useless for a civilian rifle, except that there is more engineering expense in re-engineering it out than to include it.

Personally I mostly prefer pistol-grip style rifles, myself.  (Which is funny because in pistols I mostly prefer revolvers.)  A flash suppressor is a lovely thing to have if you're target shooting in twilight hours.  A folding stock is very nice to have if you have limited space or a smaller gun safe, and they are usually better for hunting expeditions where you have a lot of brush walking/hiking to do, and they are often lighter weight.

I'd agree that having a grenade launcher is for the most part unnecessary.  However, what we're talking about here is the selfsame flash suppresor, which is of a diameter to fire military rifle grenades.  (Possession of said grenades is already an ATF matter.)  So, should you choose to have a military-diameter flash suppressor (and why would you have anything else on most rifles?) you already have two of the three standards.  Even if you don't have the flash suppresor / launcher mount, having the threads on the barrel to install one counts as one strike.  Again, you get into re-engineering costs for civilian manufacture.  (Some is already there, since you may be taking a weapon designed for automatic usage and making it semi-auto, but the point still stands.  Why should I have to pay more for a rifle because it 'looks mean?')

The real worry of many police officers I've talked to is the ban on magazine capacity, which IIRC is also going to expire.  It will once again be legal to manufacture and sell pistol magazines of a greater than ten shot capacity.  (Pre-ban magazines could still be bought and sold freely, but with a much higher cost.)

Do I agree with this worry?  Well, I'm not a cop.  But the only thing Joe Thug had to do before the expiration is pay about another twenty dollars or so to get a high-cap magazine, which doesn't seem all that deterrent to me.  It would be interesting if there has been a study on busted criminals, and if the high-cap magazine ban created conditions where more criminals used lower capacity magazines.

Edited by LaughingVulcan, 13 September 2004 - 09:02 PM.

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#19 Delvo

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 09:25 PM

What's supposed to be the problem with pistol grips, according to the law's authors?

#20 Rov Judicata

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 09:36 PM

Cyberhippie, on Sep 13 2004, 02:56 PM, said:

According to the Beeb Kerry has grabbed this as an election issue, accusing Bush of making life easier for criminals and terrorists to aquire assault weapons inside the US.
Which is why he just lost my vote.

It was nice being an undecided voter. I'm going to miss it.

Edited by Hotspur Rovinski, 14 September 2004 - 01:11 AM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.



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