Friday, September 10, 2004

The Assault Weapons Ban

Ok here is a gun post. The Assault Weapons Ban is about to expire on September 13th. Thats Monday. The Volokh Conspiracy is reporting that the Chicago Sun-Times will correct its misinformation about the ban on Tuesday. Thats the day after it is set to expire. After their falsehoods (intentionally or no) will have been used to influence policy as much as possible.

For those of you who don't know what the AWB is, it regulates a number of semiautomatic weapons on the basis of what are mostly external physical characteristics. Bayonet lugs and other things that aren't useful but look scary. It also limits the magazine capacity of most guns. It has been widely criticized both by pro-gun and anti-gun lobbyists for being ineffective and easy to circumvent. But people are still trying to renew it of course.

The most common misconception is that the AWB covers machine guns. Its not true. The AWB doesn't have any effect on machine guns (they are covered by the 1930s era National Firearms Act or NFA). All the guns covered by the AWB are semi-automatic. They are not machine guns although some have a passing resemblence to them. But the press promises to correct itself, only after its too late.

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