Monday, February 4, 2013

S-150 summary now posted

Gov Track informed me late last night that DiFi has now posted an official summary of her Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 on her web page.

Still no indication that any text has been presented to the senate.

BTW, did you know that "senate" has the same root as "senile"?

The summary includes a lot of references to studies with claims that the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 ended violent crime and it's expiry in 2004 is the reason the street have been awash in blood for the last 8 years.
The legislation bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:
  • All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel. 
  • All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
  • All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds. 
  • All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder. 
  • All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. 157 specifically-named firearms (listed at the end of this page).
Here's a thought for you, Senator (something with which you are unfamiliar, I know): If you're going to ban something, how about defining it in terms of functional features, not cosmetic ones? As one of my fellow bloggers pointed out--and I forget who it was, and my apologies--this is like trying to end the scourge of street racing by banning paint schemes, stickers, and bolt-on accessories, not speeding. (Let alone addressing whether street racing is really a scourge.  No cherry picking of data allowed!)

And I want to see the shotgun with a rocket launcher on it...
The legislation excludes the following weapons from the bill:
  • Any weapon that is lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment;
  • Any firearm manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action;
  • Assault weapons used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement; and
  • Antique weapons.
But see below...
The legislation protects hunting and sporting firearms: The bill excludes 2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns by specific make and model.
How do you add a new design to the "approved" list? Or is innovation banned, too?
The legislation strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and state bans by:
  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test. 
  • The bill also makes the ban harder to evade by eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test. 
  • Banning dangerous aftermarket modifications and workarounds.
  •  Bump or slide fire stocks, which are modified stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire at rates similar to fully automatic machine guns. 
  • So-called “bullet buttons” that allow the rapid replacement of ammunition magazines, frequently used as a workaround to prohibitions on detachable magazines. 
  • Thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips. 
  • Adding a ban on the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
  •  Eliminating the 10-year sunset that allowed the original federal ban to expire.
Where to start?
  • Characteristic tests: Well, at least she admits its a cosmetic test, not sure why she "thinks" appearance is so important. (Hey, which political party was it that opposed Civil Rights legislation again...?)
  • Flash suppressors make no difference in the functioning of a firearm, other than "possibly" preserving the shooters night vision.
  • As for bayonet studs, I like them, because I occasionally get nostalgic for my days as a Light Fighter. ("Fight light, freeze at night!") But they are so insignificant from a crime prevention standpoint that it's a waste of time to include this. Or an intentional attempt to make life difficult...
  • Unconstitutionally vague.  +, If the aftermarket modifications are dangerous, they're probably already illegal. Or evolution in action.
  • Myself, I think "bump firing" is rather pointless, except maybe to perform a function test to see how the firearm will stand up to prolonged fire, say, in a class or competition. This applies to hand cranks and the "slide fire" sticks referred to, or bump firing as a technique with no mechanical modifications to the firearm.  Either way, I want to see proof that this is common enough in crime to be worthy of mention.  Oops, you can't...
  • Bullet buttons--a stupid California work around to an even stupider California law. 
  • Thumbhole stocks:  Hey, stupid, thumbhole stocks are fairly common in competition rifles!  Instea dof passing stupid laws that we find ways to comply with and still shoot, why not just admit that you hate guns, hate freedom, and hate your constituents, and retire to a country with gun laws you approve of?  Like Mexico?
  • Ban on importation, yadda yadda:  Because international trade is eeeevil!!1!
Finally (as the measures in this summery go):
The legislation addresses the millions of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines currently in existence by:
  • Requiring a background check on all sales or transfers of a grandfathered assault weapon.
    • This background check can be run through the FBI or, if a state chooses, initiated with a state agency, as with the existing background check system.
  • Prohibiting the sale or transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill.
  • Allowing states and localities to use federal Byrne JAG grant funds to conduct a voluntary buy-back program for grandfathered assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
  • Imposing a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms, to keep them away from prohibited persons.
  • Requiring that assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured after the date of the bill’s enactment be engraved with the serial number and date of manufacture of the weapon
So, now we have Federal registration--which is what background checks on sales are--Federal "safe storage" mandates, Federally-funded "buy backs"

No comments: