An innovative (and probably effective) way to ban ‘assault weapons’

"Kanarejka” (Canary) system, mounted below the AKS-74U assault rifle.

“Kanarejka” (Canary) system, mounted below the AKS-74U assault rifle. Now this is a real assault rifle. An “assault weapon” is a political term.

“Assault weapons bans” go back a quarter century with California implementing the first such restrictions in 1989. The the California Department of Justice’s assault weapon list has some registered 145,253 firearms  as of last year when I did an in-depth report on them. However, the AWB, although tweaked continually, focuses on named models and arbitrary cosmetic features such as hand grips, barrel shrouds, and threaded muzzles, deeming such guns “assaulty” while they accidentally wind up making such innocent models as the Marlin Model 60, a tubular magazine .22LR popgun, illegal in some states.

Such bans aren’t very efficient, nor do they reduce crime, as witnesses a decade after in a postmortem on the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, which sunsetted in 2004.

Even the sometimes left-leaning New York Times noted that, “The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16 rifle.”

Further, manufacturers can just rename their guns and delete cosmetic features, selling state-compliant models. As such, you can still very much buy modified AR-15-ish rifles in California legally over the counter. Sure, they have bullet buttons and look funny, but at their heart they are still ARs.

A state-compliant AR

A state-compliant AR. Even these abominations are banned in Massachusetts, at least for now.

However, Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey last week flipped the script and decided to re-interpret the state’s 1998 ban to include an interchangeability test on the gun’s action, as ruling whether it is banned under state law. For instance, if Mass-compliant 5.56mm semi-auto rifle accepts the same bolt carrier group and magazine of the banned AR-15, it is banned as well.

So now components, such as the bolt carrier group and charging handle, define what make up an "assault rifle" under Healy's interpretation of Mass law....not the gun itself.

So now components, such as the bolt carrier group and charging handle, define what make up an “assault rifle” under Healy’s interpretation of Mass law….not the gun itself.

Gun grabbing genius this is. Because of the extremely broad strokes used to issue her office’s new guidance, most semi-auto centerfire rifles with the exception of a few (Ruger Mini-14, Remington 7400, Winchester 1910, etc), can be outlawed.

The thing is, Healy may have overstepped her authority and there has been a run on stores by gun owners fearing it will stick and some are promising legislation and litigation to short circuit her effort.

Either way, you can bet it is a blueprint for future moves by lawmakers to place a much more restrictive gun prohibition in the works.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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