Tag Archives: awb

Don’t miss those gun registration windows…

A Soldier serving overseas while his home state of record updated their regulations on owning certain firearms says he was left inadvertently in violation of the law.

“I recently returned to Connecticut and contacted the state police because I thought there must be some legal provision that allowed a returning veteran to register their weapon and legally exercise their constitutional right,” he told me, when he went to register the AR-15 he bought in the state in 2011, but had been banned in 2014 while he was in Korea.

“I found out that there was no such provision.”

More in my column at Guns.com.

End of the line for VEPR?

A classic Molot VEPR in .308 with the long 22-inch barrel and Counter Sniper Mil-Dot 4-16x44mm optic with illuminated reticle. Now more expensive than ever!

Back in January, I spoke at length with people over at Molot who were working hard on extending their exports of VEPR rifles and shotguns to the U.S. They were hopeful that the new Trump administration would be friendly to lifting some sanctions on Russian-based companies. Russian-made firearms were popular export items to the states until the conflict in the Ukraine and the resulting international backlash triggered a host of official embargos.

Per figures from the International Trade Commission, 204,788 firearms of all kinds were imported from Russia in 2013.

This figure plunged to just 9,556 in 2015 — mainly from Molot, the only large firearms maker not named in sanctions.

Well, it looks like that figure is going to be a lot lower in 2018…

Will Russian AKs and Korean war surplus M1s come ashore post-Trump?


Some are hopeful the new management in Washington will be able to lift barriers to overseas firearm imports erected over the years, though the going could be slow.

President Donald Trump on Friday said it was “very early” to tell if the United States should lift sanctions on Russia, but that he seeks a “great relationship” with Putin and Russia.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s platform on trade concentrated on American jobs while floating the possibility of a tariff on all imported goods to help ease the current trade deficit. However, the Republican’s position on gun rights promised to curtail federal gun bans and limits. The two concepts, when balanced against one another, leaves open the possibility of action on foreign-made guns currently off-limits to buyers in the U.S.

I talked to industry insiders on both sides of the pond, the ATF, and the International Trade Commission to get the scoop on if bans going back to the 1960s could be reshaped.

More in my column at Guns.com

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.

What IS an Assault Weapon?

With all this talk about assault weapons, let’s look at what they are talking about. Just what makes something an ‘assault weapon’ and how does this term compare to the concept of what lawmakers are looking to regulate.

The first true assault rifle was born in 1943 Germany. Invented by firearms engineer Hugo Schmeisser, it was a select-fire (either full auto or semi-auto at the flick of a switch) rifle that fired an intermediate caliber round (larger than a pistol but shorter than a rifle round), and had a large detachable magazine that could be changed quickly. This gun was dubbed the StG44 or ‘storm rifle model 44’ and was a crucial addition to the German arsenal in the end of World War Two.

This rifle was very popular and the Soviets soon had a modified version they adopted a few years later as the AK-47. The current assault rifle of the US military is the M4A1 carbine, which has a select-fire trigger, 14.5-inch barrel, and can fire at 750-rounds per minute until its ammunition is exhausted. For a private citizen to own one of these types of weapons, it has to be made before 1986 as the Hughes Amendment banned production of select-fire weapons for private sales that year. Even if a ‘pre-86’ gun is available, they run upwards of $10K and take 3-6 months to transfer from a Class III dealer after an extensive ATF approval process that includes a $200 tax stamp.

AKS-74U ‘Krinkov’ of the Russian Army. It is 19-inches long with a 8.3-inch barrel and fires 30 rounds of 5.45x39mm at about 700 rounds per minute. Its a true assault rifle…..now lets talk about the mythical creature that is an ‘assault weapon’…..

Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com