A top official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed lifting the ban on imported “assault weapons” on the basis that it no longer serves a useful purpose and has become the bane of many sportsmen’s existence.
“These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities,” ATF Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk wrote in a working paper published last month, adding that since the “assault weapons ban” expired in 2004, “the use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as ‘modern sporting rifles’ has increased exponentially in sport shooting.”
Yet the restriction has remained in place — despite the fact that many of these rifles are already produced domestically by American manufacturers.
“Restriction on imports serves questionable public safety interests, as these rifles are already generally legally available for manufacture and ownership in the United States,” Turk noted.
Moreover, the restriction has in reality done almost nothing to stop certain types of rifles from making it into the United States, as foreign manufacturers have learned to simply modify their rifles into otherwise equivalent “‘non-sporting’ configurations” so as to make them eligible for import.
“ATF could re-examine its almost 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than what it was years ago,” the ATF associate deputy director concluded in his paper, which made similar recommendations regarding other overburdensome gun regulations
Instead of approaching his paper with an open mind, however, liberals have already begun complaining that his recommendations amount to “a disturbing series of giveaways to the gun industry,” as Center for American Progress vice president of guns and crime policy Chelsea Parsons put it in a statement to The Washington Post.
Was it really, though? Or was it instead a sensible solution to a non-problem problem invented decades ago by former President Bill Clinton’s administration?
Before answering this question, keep in mind that, according to Clinton’s administration (as well as that of former President Barack Obama), so-called “assault weapons” were military-style killing machines. Turk’s proposal, if adopted by the Trump administration, would be a radical change in how these weapons are viewed by the federal government, and how available they would be to Americans.
The reality is that these guns are nothing more than simple deer-hunting rifles like, for instance, the one owned by Tucker Carlson.
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