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Gun ban would protect more than 2,200 firearms

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 16, 2013 at 10:02 a.m.

— Congress’ latest crack at a new assault weapons ban would protect more than 2,200 specific firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle that is nearly identical to one of the guns used in the bloodiest shootout in FBI history.

One model of that firearm, the Ruger .223 caliber Mini-14, is on the proposed list to be banned, while a different model of the same gun is on a list of exempted firearms in legislation the Senate is considering. The gun that would be protected from the ban has fixed physical features and can’t be folded to be more compact. Yet the two firearms are equally deadly.

“What a joke,” said former FBI agent John Hanlon, who survived the 1986 shootout in Miami. He was shot in the head, hand, groin and hip with a Ruger Mini-14 that had a folding stock. Two FBI agents died and five others were wounded.

Hanlon recalled lying on the street as brass bullet casings showered on him. He thought the shooter had an automatic weapon.

Both models of the Ruger Mini-14 specified in the proposed bill can take detachable magazines that hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. “I can’t imagine what the difference is,” Hanlon said.

President Barack Obama has called for restoring a ban on military-style assault weapons and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

A bill introduced last month by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. would ban 157 specific firearms designed for military and law enforcement use and exempt others made for hunting purposes. It also would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Yet there are firearms that would be protected under Feinstein’s proposal that can take large capacity magazines like the ones used in mass shootings that enable a gunman to fire dozens of rounds of ammunition without reloading.

Feinstein said in a written response to questions from The Associated Press that the list of more than 2,200 exempted firearms was designed to “make crystal clear” that the bill would not affect hunting and sporting weapons.

The December shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 students and educators dead forced Washington to focus on curbing gun violence, a risky political move not tried in decades.

The gun industry, which is fighting any sort of ban, says gun ownership in the U.S. is the highest it’s ever been, with more than 100 million firearms owners.

Feinstein’s bill defines an assault weapon as a semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine that has one of several military characteristics that are specified in her legislation. Examples of those characteristics include a pistol grip, which makes a firearm easier to hold, and a forward grip, which makes the firearm easier to stabilize to improve accuracy. The definition is similar to the one in Congress’ original ban on assault weapons, which went into effect in 1994 and was widely criticized for outlawing firearms based on cosmetic features.

Feinstein was behind the 1994 law which, at the time, protected more than 600 firearms. The current bill would exempt by name and model more than 2,200 firearms by name and model. Feinstein said her staff had worked for more than a year to draft updates for the ban that expired in 2004, and it was apparent in the wake of recent mass shootings that now was the time to introduce a new bill. She said her staff consulted with law enforcement agencies and policy experts for months to create the expanded list.


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Libertarian says... February 16, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.

" Examples of those characteristics include a pistol grip, which makes a firearm easier to hold, and a forward grip, which makes the firearm easier to stabilize to improve accuracy." Because its a crime to be accurate.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 16, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

When did it become a crime to have liberties, and why is Congress so willing to regulate our rights?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 16, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.

Miss Feinstein, The Second Amendment is not about hunting, and never has.

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aimee says... February 17, 2013 at 1:46 a.m.

The deciding difference between the two guns discussed above is that one can be folded and other can't.... It's not hard to figure out why she wants to ban the folded one and allow the other one to remain legal...
The problem is the gun manufacturers who will change the "cosmetic" features of a gun in order to bypass some restriction... They should have to "submit" newly designed guns to a panel to decide if they are really "assault" weapons in disguise...

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KCSAP says... February 17, 2013 at 6:40 a.m.

Emotional law equals bad law. Here we go again with the liberal elitists trying to solve a people problems by restricting constitutional rights. ALL emotions NO solutions.

Aimee. The real problem is that folks like you do not Know a so-called assault weapon from Adam. If you want to find solutions look at Chicago and DC, historically 2 of the highest gun crime cities with the most stringent gun laws. But then facts don't mean a thing to irrational folks.

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cindi22202170708 says... February 17, 2013 at 7:39 a.m.

Gun control has been ruled Constitutional by the USSC. Those rulings are as applicable as the document itself. A law passed denying you the right to own a weapon would be unconstitutional. A law telling you what weapon you cannot have is not. Read all the rulings (on a site explaining them from a legal standpoint instead of a pro-grun one with an agenda). BTW, Little Rock and Hot Springs both have higher crime rates than Chicago. Red states with higher ownership of guns have a higher violent crime rate too. Part of the reason for that is that 78% of homicides are not from what you call career criminals but are done by a relative of the victim or someone they know. The quicker you have access to a gun in a rage, the quicker you can murder the one you are mad at. These pro-gun laws this session keeps passing are making our children less safe. More guns among us = more shootings among us, accidental and friendly fire wise. The current AR legislative session is in fact passing unlawful bills to strip females of their rights. They are spending your tax dollars to press their ideology on others unlawfully. You'd be enraged if they attempted to pass bills denying your right to a gun. If you want the 66% of Americans that do not own a gun to support your rights, I suggest you start doing the same.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 17, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.

A lot of stupid people around here. Guns do not commit crimes, criminals do. People with low self control will hurt others with anything they can get their hands on.

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KCSAP says... February 18, 2013 at 7:20 a.m.

cindi... Not sure what you point was there other than you think Obama can do as he pleases with Executive Orders, which he can't. Ruling by fiat maybe the liberal elitest form of democracy, but is not America's. When it comes to gun crime statitics I suggest you visit wwwDOTjustfactsDOTcomFORSLASHguncontrol.asp.

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KCSAP says... February 18, 2013 at 7:31 a.m.

Also, if really want gun control then we need to get rid of Obama. Gun and ammunition sales skyrocketed from his 1st election in 2008, and now again this year. There were allot less guns and ammo sold under Bush. Of course the fear of the gun control of the liberal elitist's was much less then too.

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FreeSpiritMan says... February 18, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. a article about a guy that buried his guns when Jimmy Carter got elected because he he feared confiscation, I guess there are still buried.

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