Thursday, September 27, 2007

Guns don't kill people.......

You've probably heard it before. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

We in California have some pretty ridiculous gun laws. Our state legislators have found it desirable to limit the types and numbers of firearms we are allowed to purchase and own. They have even created new catch phrases such as "Assault Weapon". And even though the federal laws have "sunsetted", our archaic state laws live on.

I am not entirely sure what our fine senators and congresspeople think can be done with a so called assault weapon that cannot be done with any other semi-automatic rifle. I've seen some marksmen who could shoot a bolt action rifle as fast as a semi-automatic rifle.

The California definition of an "assault weapon" is any semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine and any one of several other features including a flash suppressor, a bayonet lug, a pistol grip, a thumb hole stock, etc...

By that definition, an AR-15 is an assault weapon and is therefore illegal, but a Mini-14 is not. Both fire the .223 caliber round, and both are capable of accepting 20-30 round magazines. Both rifles are semi-automatic and cycle at similar rates of fire. The difference? The AR-15 has a pistol grip and the Mini-14 does not.

Even with these laws in place, the number of street shootings involving AK type rifles is on the rise. Have these laws stopped the common street criminals and gang bangers from obtaining the "banned" weapons? Absolutely not. The only purpose these laws have served is to keep these weapons out of the hands of law abiding citizens and police officers.

Police officers? Yes, that's what I said. In this state, a police officer is not exempt from this law. A police officer can obtain a letter from his or her Chief Administrator allowing the officer to purchase an assault rifle for patrol use, but without this letter, the officer is still prohibited from possessing such weapons except in an on duty capacity.

Welcome to the Kalifornia Republik.

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