Came across this while scoping out the competition!
Issue: Modern semiautomatic .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles are weapons designed for military use that combine long range, accuracy, and massive power. Intended for use in combat situations, these weapons can penetrate structures and destroy or disable light armored vehicles, radar dishes, helicopters, stationary airplanes, and other “high-value” military targets. The Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, Al Qaeda, the Irish Republican Army, street and motorcycle gangs in California, Missouri and Indiana, and various militia groups and criminals across the United States are all documented as having possessed or used modern .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles.
AHSA supports legislative efforts to regulate .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles in the same manner as machine guns are regulated under the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The modern .50 caliber BMG rifle is one of the most powerful and destructive weapons legally available to civilians in the United States. A modern .50 caliber BMG rifle can hit a target accurately from distances of 1,000 to 2,000 yards, depending on the skill of the shooter, and can reach targets at a longer range with less accuracy. At significantly closer distances, these rifles are much more destructive and able to blast through solid concrete at 200 yards or penetrate an inch of armor plate at 300 yards.
The destructive power of the modern .50 caliber rifle can be intensified by the use of various types of ammunition that is available commercially. In addition to the standard “ball” round of .50 caliber ammunition, armor-piercing, incendiary, and combination armor-piercing and incendiary ammunition for the modern .50 caliber rifles can significantly enhance the destructive capacity, particularly against chemical and industrial facilities and civil aviation targets.
Despite their deadly power, or possibly because of it, .50 caliber rifles in various configurations are proliferating on the civilian firearms market and in many states are subject to less regulation than handguns. Because .50 caliber rifles are classified as long guns under federal law, they can legally be purchased by an 18 year old (unless state law restricts such purchases). 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1), (c)(1).
Modern .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles possess no reasonable utility for hunting or self-defense. Design modifications over the past few years have made some .50 caliber rifles lighter and easier to transport. In addition, the once high cost of these guns has dropped with its increase in popularity—prices for new .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles, traditionally in the $4,000 to $7,000 range, have dropped to under $2,000 according to some gun magazines and internet sites.
The .50 caliber BMG’s popularity lies not just with target shooters, but criminals, gangs and terrorists as well.
According to the Office of Special Investigations of the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms gun traces involving 50 caliber sniper rifles have “identified some examples of criminal misuse of the .50 caliber rifle with a nexus to terrorism, outlaw motorcycle gangs, international and domestic drug trafficking, and violent crime.” U.S. General Accounting Office. Availability of .50 Caliber Semiautomatic Rifles, 30 June 1999. For additional information, please see the GAO’s Office of Special Investigations briefing report on .50 Caliber Rifle Crime.
Under federal law, firearms sellers who do not possess a federal firearm license can sell 50 caliber rifles to individuals at gun shows and elsewhere without performing a background check on the purchaser. Although some states (such as California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) regulate private sales and prohibit all sales of firearms without a background check on the purchaser, in most states terrorists and other criminals can easily acquire a .50 caliber BMG sniper rifle.
Currently, .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles are not regulated at the federal level. Legislation has been introduced that would bring the gun under the jurisdiction of the National Firearms Act, which regulates machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and destructive devices. To date, there has been no movement on this legislation.
In September 2004, California became the first state to regulate .50 caliber BMG rifles. Effective January 1, 2005, .50 caliber BMG rifles will fall under California’s Assault Weapons Control Act, Cal. Penal Code §§ 12275-12277, 12280 et seq., which will generally prohibit the weapons’ manufacture, sale, importation and possession without registration.
Currently, Maryland is the only other state that in some manner regulates the .50 caliber rifle, classifying the “Barrett light .50 cal. semi-auto” as an assault weapon. Md. Public Safety Code § 5-101(p)(2)(ix). Several other states – Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia – have considered legislation to regulate this type of weapon.
In the 1920s lightweight fully automatic firearms (machine guns) were available for sale to the general public. Private ownership of machine guns became an issue after the prohibition of liquor in 1919. Prohibition was followed by an increase in organized crime, which involved the use of submachine guns, especially the Thompson .45 caliber, nicknamed the “Tommy Gun”.
Following passage of restrictions on fully automatic firearms in several states, the administration of the newly elected president, Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed federal restrictions on the civilian possession and ownership of machine guns. The result of FDR`s efforts was the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934, (NFA). That law, which was supported by the NRA, requires that before a private citizen may take possession of a fully-automatic firearm they must pay a $200 tax to the Internal Revenue Service, be approved by ATF to own the firearm, and the gun must registered with the federal government.
In 1986, Congress approved the NRA sponsored Firearms Owners` Protection Act (FOPA). ATF has interpreted provisions of FOPA as a prohibition on the civilian possession of all machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986. The effect of the interpretation has been to “freeze” the number of privately owned machine guns available for private ownership.
Since the passage of the NFA in 1934, crimes committed with machine guns are almost nonexistent.
Because of the potential for criminal misuse, the immense “fire power” and the potential for terrorist use, AHSA believes the .50 caliber BMG sniper rifles should be regulated in the same manner as the federal government regulates machine guns under the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Now you all know me, Why shouldn’t I be able to own something my Government (of whom I do not trust) has?
This group if allowed to continue Will eventually disarm us all and they be the American hunters and shooters Association!!!!!