The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.
I will pick apart some of the things that he is attributed as saying in the article:
- The AR15 is now one of the most common rifles in the USA. Part of the Heller decision was that firearms in common use can not be banned. Thus, this would fail the test. The same can probably said for other firearms they seek to ban.
- The infamous “cop killer” bullets – This usually refers to ammunition designed to pierce body armor, which is already illegal to sale to civilians. The only other thing I can think they are referring to is rifle ammunition. Except for SWAT teams, police officers generally don’t wear body armor that can stop rifle ammunition. The reason is simple, it is extremely unlikely that a street cop will face rifle fire. The only other round I can think they would be wanting to ban is 5.7x28mm round. This round is often called a “cop killer” round because it was originally offered in an armor piercing configuration. Before the law changed, they stopped selling the armor piercing version of the round.
- The gun smuggling to Mexico – This has repeatedly been proven to be a red herring. The vast majority of weapons in the drug cartels’ hands are stolen from the Mexican military (these were sold to them legally and with US government support). So, of course they show up as coming from the USA. Their is weapon smuggling. But, it is not the major source of cartel weaponry.
- The “gun show loophole” – There is no loophole for gunshows. This is the right of every day citizens to transfer property between each other without government interference. These transactions are still illegal if the seller knows, or even has reason to suspect, that the buyer can not legally possess the weapon. Any firearms dealer at a gunshow has to still perform background checks on any buyers. Just because they are not in their normal storefront location does not change the law.
- Right now many Second Amendment rights supporters are willing to give Democrats the benefit of the doubt right now. If the administration and/or party leadership manages to strongarm the Democrats in congress into passing this legislation. The next elections will make the Republican take over of Congress in 1994 look mild by comparison. Most likely, unless the Republicans completely screw up their choice for President, the next Presidential election would also go to them. The fact is, the majority of people in this country do now see gun control measures as being useless and strongly object to them. The Democrats who have been elected to Congress recently have largely been put there with understanding that they will not pass gun control. If it passes, it might destro the Democratic party for a long time.
A not inconsequential side note. The companies that produce the assault weapons (and all of the side gear), employ a good number of Americans in well paying jobs. In the current economy, passing a new AWB will hurt the economy.