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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 3/11/2002 2:17:25 PM EST
[url]www.uniontrib.com/news/state/20020309-9999_1n9spudguns.html[/url] Those potato guns no laughing matter, Assemblyman says, His bill would ban homemade devices By Michael Gardner COPLEY NEWS SERVICE March 9, 2002 SACRAMENTO – Peel away the jokes about half-baked ideas, spud-SCUD missiles and Idaho farmers. At their core, potato guns are simply too dangerous, insists Assemblyman Jay La Suer. The former San Diego County undersheriff has introduced legislation that would classify the homemade guns as destructive devices – the same category reserved for bombs and grenades. Possession would be a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. "You're igniting nothing more than a bomb out of scrap metal that can hurt several people, including yourself," said La Suer, R-La Mesa. Although dubbed potato guns, the weapons can fire everything from tennis balls to ball-bearings to M-80 fireworks. Loaded with the M-80 fireworks, they're akin to loading a Molotov cocktail with a range of 300 yards. A quick Internet search reveals a large subculture devoted to potato guns, commonly called "spudzookas" or "spudlaunchers." Some Web sites offer a beginner's potato gun for $59.99, credit cards welcome. Others include directions on how to build a weapon – and what combustible substances can be used to launch the projectiles – from materials readily available at hardware and grocery stores. Devotees have submitted dozens of ideas for what to shoot. Most popular are relatively all-in-good-fun items that are noisy and make a mess. More chilling, however, are suggestions for loading dangerous materials. Law enforcement officials, stymied by district attorneys reluctant to bring charges that may not stick, approached La Suer to get him to introduce AB 2513. "It's impossible to prosecute," said Paul Curry, a San Bernardino County sheriff's lieutenant and Capitol lobbyist, because current law does not definitively bar spud guns. There have been few reports of accidents or property damage caused by potato guns, Curry said. However, in 1999 two Santa Clarita high school students were seriously burned when a similar weapon used to fire tennis balls blew up during a demonstration by their science teacher. The school's insurer paid more than $8 million in damages. That's proof enough the weapons pose an imminent public threat, Curry said. "In the land of raging fires, you get concerned," said Curry, noting that fireworks are popular projectiles. A well-known gun-control advocate agrees. Potato guns "are certainly a hazard," said Luis Tolley of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Yet Tolley questions why La Suer opposes limits on many other types of arms that are proven killers. "It's ironic that he's concerned about a potato gun and not an AK-47," Tolley said. Said Curry: "They are different genres. This device literally creates an uncontrolled explosion." ----------------------------------------------- What will they try to ban next?
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 2:42:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2002 2:44:04 PM EST by Txsguy]
New BATF FAQ page: Would possession of both a sack of spuds and PVC pipe constitute a violation, showing intent to manufacture? Would the feds be automatically notified by grocers, via their computerized scanner system, if you bought 'taters and hairspray at the same time? If I sent my kid to buy potatoes, could this be construed as a straw man purchase and be denied?
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 4:00:37 PM EST
There will be exemptions for law enforcement and military use as there is no reason for civilians to own such weapons.
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 4:29:08 PM EST
you guys should see the spud gun a buddy just built, 6ft long, 1ft diameter chamber, 5ft barrel, weighs 50lbs (air powered). Damn thing shot a potato clear over the hill and out of sight. Told him he needed a 1919a4 tripod to create a crew served weapon! BrenLover
Link Posted: 3/11/2002 4:41:30 PM EST
The ones I built were powered by compressed air.
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